Video: Watch Anthony Rapp & John Rubinstein in Twisted Musical Short, TROUBLE

TROUBLE explores what happens when a traveling salesman shows up on the doorstep of a dying old man and can't contain the song within his heart.

By: Feb. 07, 2023
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Jacob Chase's TROUBLE starring Anthony Rapp and Tony Award Winner John Rubinstein is now available to watch! The film stars Starring Anthony Rapp, John Rubinstein, Gwen Hollander, Chace Castle, Joshua Pelatzky and Traci Swartz. Set in 1952, TROUBLE explores what happens when a traveling salesman shows up on the doorstep of a dying old man and can't contain the song within his heart. Original music by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner.

"Our friend Jacob Chase is this brilliant feature writer/director who loves horror and suspense stories but also loves musical theatre," explained composers Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner. "And he came to us with this idea for a musical short that was just too beautifully twisted to resist. It was like classic Broadway by way of M. Night Shymalan. We'd always wanted to do some kind of suspense/thriller musical but it's rare to actually come upon a concept that could naturally sing like this one did."

Jacob shares "TROUBLE rides a fine line between suspense, horror, humor, and musical. My goal was to use my horror roots to build a naturalistic tone with tension that constantly rises and a singing style that feels like it springs organically out of the emotion. (We even did much of the singing live on set to help support this idea!) I believe a character breaking out into song is the most exciting way into a character's heart - you get their inner life, their dreams, and their faults. In this short film, I wanted to witness a character have a total breakdown with challenging, unrelenting, and emotionally rich lyrics. At the same time, I wanted to hold up a mirror to a classic character who may be a bit more complicated than we let on."

Anthony Rapp, who plays the salesman, is best known for the Broadway and film adaptation of RENT, and currently stars off-Broadway in WITHOUT YOU, based on his own memoir. John Rubinstein starred in the original Broadway production of PIPPIN, and won a Tony Award for CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD.

Alan Zachary & Michael Weiner are the songwriters behind Broadway's FIRST DATE (starring Zachary Levi), ABC's ONCE UPON A TIME musical episode, and HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL: THE SERIES on Disney+. Upcoming: TRADING PLACES: THE MUSICAL directed by Kenny Leon, a stage musical of 13 GOING ON 30, and an original movie musical for TriStar Pictures.

Jacob Chase wrote and directed COME PLAY for Amblin and Focus Features, based on his short film LARRY. It was released Halloween 2020, coming in number one at the pandemic box office. He next directed four episodes of THE GIRL IN THE WOODS for Peacock, which premiered in October 2021. Jacob is currently in development on his next features at Blumhouse and Atomic Monster, as well as TV pilots at Working Title and ABC Signature. Previously, he sold his spec SANCTUARY to Paramount with The Picture Company producing, and his spec INFINITE to Sony Pictures with Original Film producing. Jacob is an alum of the Sundance Episodic Lab with his musical pilot HARMONY, which went on to sell to ABC with Mandeville producing. He won the 2016 Crash the Super Bowl contest with his commercial DORITOS DOGS, which aired during the Super Bowl and earned him an exclusive directing mentorship under Zack Snyder on the set of JUSTICE LEAGUE. Earlier in his career, Jacob directed the feature film THE FOUR-FACED LIAR which premiered at Slamdance and won the HBO Audience Award for "Best First Feature" at Outfest.

TROUBLE is produced by Andrew Carlberg and Jacob Chase. Carlberg is an Academy Award-winning producer whose credits include SKIN (Academy Award winner), FEELING THROUGH (Academy Award nominee), HBOMax's THE FALLOUT and MUTT (2023 Sundance Film Festival; 2023 Berlin International Film Festival). Choreography is by Sean Lew. Cinematography by Florian Stadler. Production Design by Sam Neidenbach. Costume Design by Michael Mullen. Score and Orchestrations by Zach Robinson.

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