Building a musical round 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 constantly rise to the stage that might make this a top-tier manufacturing, particularly juxtaposed with the Diana Ross numbers from which the title character derives energy and inspiration.

Still, there’s one thing candy and common about 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 incontrovertible fact that Hagelberger is the similar age as the character and appears it makes the complete 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 incontrovertible fact that Trevor’s tone-deaf mother and father 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 making an attempt to categorical himself, leaping at the likelihood to choreograph an look by the basketball group at a faculty rally, wanting to do one thing extra fabulous than have them merely seem in drag.

Mostly, the preparation for that occasion offers Trevor a chance/excuse to cling 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 pals (Aryan Simhadri and Alyssa Emily Marvin), who be part of him in a triangle of hopeless teen crushes.

With a e book 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 remedy 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 forestall this from being symbolically important. After shying away from LGBTQ content material, Disney+ has step by step grow to be extra inclusive, just lately including “Love, Victor” from sister service Hulu, so “Trevor” represents one other small however notable step.
It’s tough to divorce this Pride-month-timed presentation from the context of the studio’s relationship with LGBTQ points, together with current clashes over Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” laws — criticized first by employees for being sluggish to reply to their considerations, then by state officials when the studio lastly spoke out. In such conditions, Disney’s household model will be as a lot a curse as a blessing.

Disney additionally has a protracted and wealthy custom of musicals, with “Hamilton” making a significant streaming splash throughout the pandemic and “Better Nate Than Ever” just lately becoming a member of its younger-demo roster that features franchises like “High School Musical” and “Zombies.”

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

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

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