"Musicals allow us to say things we can’t say in REALITY."

BETTER NATE THAN EVER was a “triple threat” movie. It had it all…singing, huge, fun, musical numbers, creative choreography, and inspirational monologues. Pure family entertainment. 

This film made me remember when I was a high school theatre arts teacher and would post several cast lists a year. I recall how nervous and excited my students were to see if “they made it.” Not everyone can get the lead. It always comes down to one person’s perception of your capabilities. This is what I always told my students at casting time. It is only someone’s opinion of you, and sometimes it is a “domino effect” of who else was picked. It is not personal. It matters more what you think of yourself and your abilities. Not getting cast is crushing, but it is more important how an actor uses that experience and moves on to what comes next. A theatre teacher can be influential. Words matter, so it is always critical to stay positive and look for the best in every student. 

Nate was lucky to have his best friend Libby, who had his back, and always believed in him, even when Nate didn’t. This is where BETTER NATE THAN EVER shines bright. So many life lessons were learned and shared. This movie showed the “sway” of true friendship, family, forgiveness, different kinds of love, being who you were meant to be, and family means “never leaving anyone behind.” These are huge themes to conquer, but BNTE did it all. And it was shown through the power of a  musical. WOW!

I have to remark about Nate (Rueby Wood). What a find. He has phenomenal singing pipes. This kid can do everything and hold his “DESIGNING WOMEN” audience in the palm of his hand. Fabulous! His other half, Libby (Aria Brooks), was also terrific. They had tremendous timing and chemistry. The ensemble also included another heavy hitter in the role of Heidi (Lisa Kudrow). The entire production was in the capable hands of Tim Federle  (FERDINAND and HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL). 

BETTER NATE THAN EVER feeds on “dreaming big.” This is excellent advice for everyone. Do whatever you are passionate about. Watch this movie with your family. You will laugh and cry together. And when the credits crawl, you all will be humming the notes to ON BROADWAY together for hours after. 

BETTER NATE THAN EVER is available to stream DISNEY+. 

Esta Rosevear

Esta Rosevear has been a Theatre Arts teacher and director for 35+ years, published Children’s author of the Rebecca series, and is passionate about playing her violin, walking, gardening, and reading murder mysteries.

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