May 6, 2017
By Dr. Leonard H. Golubchick LaborPress Entertainment Editor
The Musical Swings and is Hot
“Bandstand” is a wonderful musical production which first played the Paper Mill Playhouse. The show is somewhat like Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland musicals in” let’s put on a show”.
The musical set in 1945 when returning GI’s from combat in World War II are brought together to form a band for a contest which can bring them to the big time. This is also a love story between the bands organizer played by Corey Cott and a widow, played by Laura Osnes, whose husband was killed in combat. Mr. Cott puts together a band of ex GI’s who are all suffering from Post-Traumatic Syndrome. Mr. Cott was also the foxhole buddy of the GI who was killed. The predictability of the show is that Laura Osnes becomes the star singer of the band and both Ms. Osnes’ character and Mr. Cott’s character fall in love.
Andy Blankenbuehler served as director/choreographer and brought the story with dance and music together with genuine sensitivity. Mr. Blankenbuehler was the choreographer for “In the Heights” and won the Tony for “Hamilton:. The words and music by Robert Taylor and Richard Oberacker brings the story to life and presents us to enter the theme of show with pathos.
Stars of the show Laura Osnes and Corey Cott are terrific and have voices to match. The members of the band actually play their own instruments with guile and add realism to the musical even though there is a live orchestra. The show provides us with sensitive moments as well as integrating humor.
This is a stylish and entertaining show which has an original score reminiscent of the swing band era. This is a musical which I would highly recommend.