Rating: 1 out of 5.

Welcome to the Show, a new comedic drama debuting at 2021’s Cinequest Film Festival, is mismanaged from the very first frame. An immersive theatre piece, called “The Show,” catches the attention of four best friends looking to spend their last Thanksgiving together before graduating college. Things turn out very different from expected as the friends—and the viewer—try to decipher the confusion behind this “show.” Who is the subject, who is the audience, and most importantly, who is behind it all?

The constant philosophizing might have sounded good on paper, but it simply doesn’t translate into an entertaining watch. You can only hear people arguing about which direction to take at a four-way intersection, quoting random poems and hotly debating the differences between “a few” and “a couple” before it starts to become grating. The plot meanders just as much as the dialogue; it hammers home the fact that Welcome to the Show is directionless.

Filmed in just 10 days, the film was edited and composed during the lockdown of 2020. You have to admire the dedication this team had to delivering a finished product through unforeseen circumstances. The performances are all decent, although the guys come off too macho and testosterone-fueled for my taste. With some script rewrites, and a more concise sense of direction, this could’ve been considerably better. The central idea of Welcome to the Show seems brimming with possibilities. If only the execution had given this cast more to do, with a story worth telling.

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