Review: Bandstand on Broadway2 min read

Bandstand: Big Bang Swing

5020Bandstand: Big Bang Swing

By Ross
There is no way that this show is going to let you not pay it your full attention. This loud and fun musical, reminiscent of the old MGM ‘lets-put-on-a-show’ musicals that it references to throughout, starts out with an intense crack and never lets up, volume wise. Which is, in a way, it’s fun and it’s flaw. There is a lovely story in here about a man who survives a war, returns home to find that things can’t just return to what it once was, and that he is not the same young man either. His love of big band swing music hasn’t disappeared. His devotion to his best buddy who died by his side in that same war that he survived still sits strong and sure within his sense of duty, and his commitment to his word will end up being his savior from the weight many of the returning soldiers carry on their backs day after day. There is great music, spectacular singing, a healthy lively pulse, and athletic creative dancing, courtesy of director/choreographer, Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton). The only problem in this show is that the creators barely gives the piece a moment to catch its breath, constantly driving forward without a pause. It throws everything at us with a full force, energetic music along with anguish and post WW2 pain. All served at the same loud driving speed.  It’s like they don’t trust us to stay tuned in unless they are always feeding us something powerful.
The first five minutes of Bandstand bombard us with details and drama from World War II and the soldier’s return. It’s visually and emotionally overwhelming, throwing so much at us; almost too much to take in. Only later, when there is a pause, when the handsome and incredibly talented, Corey Cott (Newsies, Gigi) is allowed to be still just for a moment, just him and the piano, are we allowed to engage. Cott, as the leader of the soon-to-be-assembled band, sings a smart and catchy song, titled the same as his character, “Danny Novitski“.  We finally are able to connect, settle down into our seats, and take a breath after what was just thrown at us. (for the full review: click here)
 Posted on April 30, 2017
Shows to be Excited for: Spring 2018: The Who’s Who Who’s Coming to Broadway.