On June 13, No One Called Ahead, a new hybrid of stage and film musical, hit streaming platforms. Written by Paul Gordon (Jane Eyre, Emma, Daddy Long Legs), the musical stars Justin Matthew Sargent (Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, Rock of Ages), Lora Lee Gayer (Holiday Inn, Follies), Ann Harada (Avenue Q, Cinderella), Storm Lever (Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, Freaky Friday), Morgan Weed (The Greatest Showman, American Psycho), and Pamela Winslow Kashani (Into the Woods, Beauty and the Beast).
No One Called Ahead tells the story of Ben (Sargent), a creator in need of a weekend getaway, who “gets more than he bargained for when he begins to receive a series of visits from several astonishing women from the great beyond. Will this night forever change the way he lives, loves and creates? Or will he make it to daybreak at all?”
The film comes from producers Apples and Oranges Studios (An American in Paris, Memphis, HAIR, Emma), Judith Manocherian (The Prom, The Lifespan of a Fact, Once On This Island), and Streaming Musicals (Emma).
T2C: You are working on No One Called Ahead can you tell us a little about the format?
Justin Matthew Sargent: The format started as we filmed it in a small theatre space on the Upper West Side. We shot the entire picture in 7 days. It was like a marathon.
T2C: How were you cast?
Justin Matthew Sargent: A casting director Michael Cassara, knew my agent and gave me the offer. I had no formal addition.
T2C: What’s it like working with Ann Harada?
Justin Matthew Sargent: A hoot. That is the one word to describe her. She is ready to go as soon as its time. she has few complaints, she is just a joy to work with.
T2C: Had you worked with any of these people before?
Justin Matthew Sargent: No, I knew Morgan Weed, because of concerts but other than that is was a great experience to work with all new people.
T2C: What is Paul Gordan’s music like for this?
Justin Matthew Sargent: Its very Beatles popish. You bop your head along to this. Its an easy going beat. We reference John Lennon a lot in this show.
T2C: Where did you film this?
Justin Matthew Sargent: At the YMCA on the Upper West Side. It was transformed into this derelict cabin in the woods.
T2C: How is this like live theatre?
Justin Matthew Sargent: The way we shot, it was not your typical film shoot. We shot in long periods of time. Everyone was stationed in the house. We felt like we had an audience because of that.
T2C: Is this like a film noir?
Justin Matthew Sargent: Yes, most of the magic happens in the editing, so I haven’t seen it yet.
T2C: From the trailer it looks like a show about death.
Justin Matthew Sargent: Ultimately it is a show about death and wanting to accomplished something in your life. Will anyone know that the things you have created are from you. It is about being undiscovered. Luck and timing has a lot to do with it.
T2C: What’s next for you?
Justin Matthew Sargent: Auditioning I am going to do Rock of Ages. I’ve done the show over 500 times. This time it is a Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera revisit. I am also going to be a father September 30th. This is my wife’s and my first child.
T2C: What would you like our audiences to know about you?
Justin Matthew Sargent: I absolutely love what I do. I am passionate about it. I look to bring as much truth and honesty and move people that in a way that will touch them.
The film was directed by Tim Kashani.