Review: Better Nate than Ever, Broadway bound for sure

Aria Brooks and Rueby Wood in Better Nate than Ever

Better Nate than Ever takes Nate, a talented middle schooler, from his life in Pittsburgh to New York City where he auditions for a role in a Broadway musical. It’s fun and charming and bursting with talented kids.

Better Nate than Ever stars Rueby Wood as the irrepressible Nate. He loves and lives for musical theater.

Rueby Wood in Better Nate than Ever
Watch this face, because Rueby Wood is Broadway musical star material in real life.

Everyone picks on Nate because he’s different. He doesn’t mind. He knows who he is.

Aria Brooks in Better Nate than Ever
Aria Brooks has musical chops of her own, but her character doesn’t like to be on stage

Libby (Aria Brooks), Nate’s best friend, is his biggest supporter. When Nate’s parents take a weekend off for themselves, Nate is expected to stay home with his big brother Anthony (Joshua Bassett). But Libby notices that they’re auditioning kids for a musical version of Lilo and Stitch in NYC.

Lisa Kudrow in Better Nate than Ever
Dreams are hard to realize, as Aunt Heidi knows

Nate and Libby cover their tracks at home and get on a bus for the big Apple. Nate barely wiggles his way into the audition because they think his Aunt Heidi (Lisa Kudrow) is his parent. Aunt Heidi has worked in the theater in small ways, but pays the rent with a catering job. Still, Nate idolizes her and wants to be on Broadway just like her.

Like any Disney movie, he faces lots of obstacles and challenges. Will he get the part? Will his parents discover his lie? Will his best friend Libby still be his best friend after he confesses he’s “not like that” when she professes her love? Will his big brother stop being embarrassed by him? Is he a star?

Yes, he is. Solid, grade A, star material.

This Disney+ streamer was written and directed by Tim Federle. If you enjoy musicals and appreciate budding talent, I think you’ll be happy watching it.

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