Hearing Laura Osnes and Corey Cott sing “This is Life” was my “ooh, ooh, ooh” moment. Then I watched their performance on the Tonys.
— broadway.com (@broadwaycom) June 12, 2017
I finally saw it on September 7th, with my usual Broadway partners in crime and it was everything I expected. Amazing dancing. Like, seriously. Great acting. Fantastic singing (See, Corey Cott’s singing at the top of his range. He’s doing the male equivalent of belting, said my brain as I leaned forward in my seat. Oh, wait, he just went up a notch on that belt…wtf? How did that happen?)
Bandstand was also an original musical, not based on a book or a movie, with new songs. That’s rare these days on Broadway.
Sadly, Bandstand, too, closes today, which is why there are two blog posts today.
It starred Corey Cott and Laura Osnes (here’s a link to her Broadway.com Bandstand vlog). Corey plays Donny Novitski, a recently-returned WWII army vet and musical prodigy, who is having trouble adjusting back to life in Cleveland. He hears about a MGM music contest and decides to form a band of fellow vets so they can enter the competition–the Donny Nova Band.
The cool thing was all of the band members played their own instruments. Here’s a video from a pop-up performance the Donny Nova Band did of “Ain’t We Proud.”
Laura Osnes played Julia Trojan, a war widow, who happens to sing and write some poetry. She’s the widow of a war buddy of Donny’s and he checks in on her and learns that she can sing really well. She joins the band as their singer.
I cried at this show–that’s never happened to me during a musical. It’s not a sad show, but it deals with some heavy subject matter–post-war traumatic stress, namely. Bandstand was so heartfelt; I felt like I’d been emotionally devastated but I was happy that I’d been emotionally devastated, you know?
God, us creatives are such sick puppies.
In essence, I cried a little. I laughed. I had chills. I was cheering. But most of all, I was totally sucked into the show and felt really present.
The music is very 1940s swing and big band, which was a kick to hear. Makes you want to move around. The director is also a choreographer, so the dancing was so amazing to watch–it was super athletic and sinuous and era-appropriate.
My friend Jess is a dancer; she’d seen Bandstand a few months ago and loved all the swing dance, so she took a couple of classes and through Audience Rewards (@audiencerewards #GetRewarded), got to take a dance class with the dance captain of Bandstand doing the show choreography, which is sooo cool.
Jess is the one in the front in the white tanktop. There’s video as well, but I couldn’t get it to upload.