The 2023 Toronto Film Festival’s (TIFF 2023) Midnight Madness section roared to life with the world premiere of A24’s “Dicks — The Musical,” a raucously entertaining campy comedy directed by Larry Charles. This uproarious event set the stage for a series of outrageous films and unforgettable moments. The Midnight Madness crowd was eager to revel in the festivities, as the festival’s programmer, Peter Kuplowsky, kicked off the evening with a musical tribute. With its blend of love and hilarity, “Dicks — The Musical” proved to be the perfect choice to launch this wild cinematic journey.
Setting the Stage: As the curtains rose on the Toronto Film Festival’s Midnight Madness, Peter Kuplowsky, the curator of this cult-film sidebar, took center stage. With a swinging, soft-shoe number, he welcomed the audience with open arms. “I’ll be your host for the next 10 midnights, and this is just the beginning!” Kuplowsky proclaimed, setting the tone for an electrifying night. The promise of outrageous movies hung in the air, and the excitement was palpable.
Love and Laughter Unleashed: “Dicks — The Musical” emerged as the ideal opening act for Midnight Madness. Kuplowsky’s words echoed the film’s essence: “where love is love and dicks are dicks!” This adaptation of the off-Broadway sensation “Fucking Identical Twins” by Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson delivered an uproarious tale. Sharp and Jackson reprised their roles as business rivals who discover they are long-lost identical twins. In a Parent Trap-inspired twist, they embark on a mission to reunite their divorced parents, portrayed brilliantly by Megan Mullally and Nathan Lane. Joining this riotous ensemble were Bowen Yang and Megan Thee Stallion.
Gratitude and Triumph: Before the screening, the film’s stars, Josh Sharp, Aaron Jackson, and Bowen Yang, took the stage to express their gratitude to SAG-AFTRA for granting an interim agreement that allowed them to promote their cinematic gem. Jackson shared the journey of “Dicks — The Musical,” a production that originated as a two-person show in a grocery store basement. Bowen Yang chimed in, celebrating their ascent from underground beginnings to the grand stage of TIFF.
Larry Charles’ Joyful Message: The audience was treated to a message from Larry Charles, a legendary producer known for his work on “Seinfeld” and directorial endeavors such as “Brüno” and “The Dictator.” Charles shared his exhilarating experience of working on “Dicks — The Musical,” describing it as a production that defied description and transcended genres. He celebrated his collaboration with the talented team and left the audience buzzing with anticipation.
A Call to Celebrate Humanity: As the excitement reached its peak, Jackson delivered Larry Charles’ final words, urging the audience to “freak out at a movie… scream and laugh and clap” at what he dubbed “the most anti-A.I., pro-human movie of the 21st century.” This rallying cry set the stage for the unforgettable night that lay ahead.
The Madness Unleashed: The Midnight Madness fans embraced the call to action. Within the hallowed halls of the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, cheers and applause erupted throughout the screening. The energy was contagious, with spontaneous ovations punctuating the viewing experience. Megan Thee Stallion’s showstopping number brought the house down, a testament to the film’s electrifying performances.
A Cinematic Rave: As the closing credits rolled, the atmosphere reached its zenith. Rainbow-colored balloons, beach balls, and even an inflatable phallus descended from the balconies above, transforming the theater into a euphoric cinematic rave. The screen seemed to pulsate with the energy of the audience’s enthusiasm.
A24’s Grand Launch: For A24, the night was nothing short of a triumph. “Dicks — The Musical” had found the perfect launchpad at TIFF 2023, leaving the audience craving more. With a U.S. theater release date set for September 29, the film was poised to become a sensation.
“Dicks — The Musical” delivered a night of unforgettable laughter and celebration at the 2023 Toronto Film Festival’s Midnight Madness. From its spirited kickoff to the euphoria of the screening, it was a testament to the power of film to unite and entertain. As audiences eagerly awaited the film’s wider release, the memory of this raucous premiere would linger, a testament to the magic of cinema and the joy it brings to those who gather to share in its splendor.
You can check out the trailer for Dicks — The Musical below.