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‘Trevor: The Musical’ review: The off-Broadway musical sensitively brings the story behind the Trevor Project to Disney+

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Constructing a musical across the Oscar-winning 1995 quick movie that impressed the Trevor Project, a suicide-prevention program for LGBTQ youth, wasn’t an apparent match. Nor do the songs persistently rise to the extent that will make this a top-tier manufacturing, particularly juxtaposed with the Diana Ross numbers from which the title character derives energy and inspiration.

Nonetheless, there’s one thing candy and common in regards to the plight of Trevor, the 13-year-old boy at its core, and much more so Holden William Hagelberger, the Sugar Land, Texas teen chosen to play him after a nationwide search.

The truth that Hagelberger is identical age because the character and appears it makes the entire train extra impactful, as he impressively sings, dances and emotionally wrestles together with his character’s new and complicated crush on classmate Pinky (Sammy Dell), baring his soul to his diary and the imagined Ross (Yasmeen Sulieman), who seems to him with phrases of encouragement in glittering robes.

Set in 1981, a timeframe established by the truth that Trevor’s tone-deaf dad and mom are preoccupied by the assassination try on President Reagan, “Trevor” properly captures the interval, when, the survival mechanism for LGBTQ youth was not popping out however hiding. Even so, Trevor can not help attempting to precise himself, leaping on the probability to choreograph an look by the basketball staff at a faculty rally, eager to do one thing extra fabulous than have them merely seem in drag.

Largely, the preparation for that occasion offers Trevor a chance/excuse to hold round with Pinky, though that spells hazard for him on a wide range of fronts, drawing consideration from the merciless and in style youngsters whereas alienating his nerdy associates (Aryan Simhadri and Alyssa Emily Marvin), who be a part of him in a triangle of hopeless teen crushes.

With a guide and lyrics by Dan Collins and music by Julianne Wick Davis, “Trevor” leads towards the publicity of Trevor’s emotions, and the crushing weight that locations upon him. Hagelberger is especially sturdy in these sequences, and when he tears down his Ross posters in a determined try to be “regular” (“I attempted to treatment myself, however nothing labored”), your coronary heart breaks for him.

Disney is hardly a stranger to angst-ridden adolescents — Disney Channel is crammed with them — which does not stop this from being symbolically vital. After shying away from LGBTQ content material, Disney+ has steadily turn out to be extra inclusive, lately including “Love, Victor” from sister service Hulu, so “Trevor” represents one other small however notable step.
It is troublesome to divorce this Delight-month-timed presentation from the context of the studio’s relationship with LGBTQ points, together with current clashes over Florida’s so-called “Do not Say Homosexual” laws — criticized first by employees for being gradual to reply to their considerations, then by state officials when the studio lastly spoke out. In such conditions, Disney’s household model could be as a lot a curse as a blessing.

Disney additionally has an extended and wealthy custom of musicals, with “Hamilton” making a significant streaming splash through the pandemic and “Higher Nate Than Ever” lately becoming a member of its younger-demo roster that features franchises like “Excessive Faculty Musical” and “Zombies.”

Setting apart different concerns, “Trevor” marks a pleasant addition to that queue. And sure, an essential one, too.

“Trevor: The Musical” premieres June 24 on Disney+.