Bandstand will be the next occupant of the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre when The Color Purple vacates the venue on January 8, 2017. Directed and choreographed by Hamilton’s Andy Blankenbuehler and starring two-time Tony nominee Laura Osnes and Corey Cott, the previously announced transfer of the Paper Mill Playhouse production will begin previews on March 31. Opening night is scheduled for April 26.
Osnes and Cott will both reprise their roles in the new tuner. Set in the smoke filled, swing fueled night clubs of 1945, Bandstand brings the against-all-odds story of singer/songwriter Donny Novitski (Cott) and his band of mismatched fellow WWII veterans to the stage. When a national radio contest to find America’s next big swing band offers a chance at instant fame and Hollywood fortune, Donny must whip his wise-cracking gang of jazzers into fighting shape. Teaming up with the beautiful young war widow Julia (Osnes) as their singer, they struggle to confront the lingering effects and secrets of the battlefield that threaten to tear them apart. Playing for every voiceless underdog in a world that has left them behind, they risk everything in the final live broadcast to redefine the meaning of victory. With an explosive original score and choreography inspired by the high energy swing rhythms of the era, Bandstand is a truly American story of love, loss, triumph and the everyday men and women whose personal bravery defined a nation.
With music by Richard Oberacker, and a book and lyrics by Oberacker and Robert Taylor, the original score is strongly influenced by authentic 1940s swing music, much of which is played onstage by the characters and band members.
Additional casting and creative team will be announced shortly. The Paper Mill company also included Tony winner Beth Leavel, Joe Carroll, Brandon J. Ellis, James Nathan Hopkins, Geoff Packard and Joey Pero.
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Following a critically acclaimed, hit world premiere engagement at Paper Mill Playhouse this fall, the new musical will open on Broadway in the 2016 – 2017 season starring Tony Award nominee Laura Osnes (Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella) and Corey Cott (Newsies).
Directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton, In the Heights), The Bandstand features music by Richard Oberacker and a book and lyrics by Richard Oberacker and Robert Taylor.
Dates, theater and additional casting will be announced at a later date.
Andy Blankenbuehler said “It’s been really thrilling to see The Bandstand come to life for the very first time up on the stage at Paper Mill Playhouse. We’ve learned a lot about the show, and we’re excited to continue working on the piece as we focus towards an opening in New York next year. The show’s heart is huge, and its voice is both unique and exciting. I’m very, very thankful to be part of this team!”
Set in 1945, The Bandstand tells the story of musician Donny Novitski who is about to take on the mission of his life: leading his band of fellow veterans into competition for America’s next swing band sensation. However, complicated relationships, the demands of the competition and the challenging after-effects of war may break these musicians. The original score is strongly influenced by authentic 1940s swing music, much of which is played onstage by the characters and band members. When Donny meets a beautiful, young singer named Julia, he finds the perfect harmony in words and music that could take this band of brothers all the way to the live radio broadcast finale in New York City. But to succeed, it will require every ounce of talent, stamina and raw nerve that these musicians possess.
The Bandstand features scenic design by David Korins, costume design by Paloma Young, lighting design by Jeff Croiter, sound design by Nevin Steinberg and casting by Tara Rubin Casting.
The Bandstand will be produced on Broadway by Tom Smedes, Gabrielle Palitz, Terry Schnuck and Tom Kirdahy.
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