Trouble Image


By Alan Ng | October 17, 2023

Who doesn’t love a good musical? OK, I know many who don’t love musicals, but that ain’t me. But kudos to filmmaker Jacob Chase’s short, Trouble, for stitching together a dark musical with a song by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner and sung by Anthony (frickin’) Rapp.

Set in 1952, our tale opens with the knock of a traveling salesman (Anthony Rapp). A nurse (Gwen Hollander) opens the door and confuses the salesman with the son of the old man (John Rubinstein) she cares for.

“…the old man was once a salesman. The two match wits…”

Realizing that she made a mistake, she begs the salesman to watch the old man while she quickly attends to another patient a few doors down. When the salesman wanders to the old man’s room, he invites the salesman in to make his presentation. Ironically, the old man was once a salesman. The two match wits, which eventually turns into a song from the salesman about the man who inspired him to be in this profession.

When it comes to musicals, your mileage may vary. Though Trouble won’t win over the song-averse cynics, it is a delightfully dark story that pays homage to a classic musical. None of which I can reveal for spoiler’s sake.

The song of the salesman about his past is fantastic. Good lyrics that actually rhyme (pet peeve) and suit Anthony Rapp’s vocals and style perfectly. My quibble is the lack of a memorable chorus, but I love the reveal that doesn’t overplay its hand and the choreography that supports the story.

Trouble (2023)

Directed and Written: Jacob Chase

Starring: Anthony Rapp, John Rubinstein, Gwen Hollander, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Trouble Image

"…a delightfully dark story that pays homage to a classic musical."

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