Broadway On the Screen! Bandstand Dances Into Theaters (And On National Tour!)By Caroline Cao | June 23, 2018 | Entertainment
It’s a tragedy when a Broadway musical ends its run. It’s a miracle when it is screened in theaters.
I unfortunately missed Bandstand during its 2017 Broadway run. But hearing its swanky toe-tapping soundtrack composed by Richard Oberacker with book and lyrics by Oberacker and Robert Taylor, I regret missing out.
Rejoice, it is a blessing Fathom Events made this knock-out musical accessible. Now I can see the kinetic choreography of Andy Blankenbuehler (he choreographed a little musical called Hamilton) in all its glory.
Fresh from the grime of World War II, Donny Novitski (Corey Cott of Newsies fame) comes home to an American of empty thank-you-for-your-service praises and humdrum apathy toward the plight of soldiers. He decides to revive his music career and jump into national radio contest that could catapult him to stardom, as well as provide a platform for his fellow soldiers. As Donny assembles a brotherhood band of veterans who share his post-war disillusionment, he makes music with his fallen comrade’s Julie Trojan (played by the vivacious wholesome Laura Osnes). Will Donny and Julie form the right music that will blast them to long-deserved fame?
Bandstand offers a sweep-clean commercialized depiction of the contents of World War II, with allusions to “camps” and the general “I’ve seen things” stories and rudimentary but still effective portrayal of post-traumatic stress disorder, though the musical industriously sings about the pains within soldiers who are expected to buck up in society. After all, it understands that “thank you for your service” is hollow if society gives no empathy or dues for their homeward-bound fighters.
Fathom Events will play Bandstand again on June 28. In other consolatory news, Bandstand will embark on a North American tour. Let the swing dancin’ live on.
Caroline Cao is our resident Geek Gal of Diva Gals Daily. She’s a screenwriter, playwright, poet, and film critic studying for her Nonfiction MFA at the New School and working on her first memoir. She has contributed her wit to Birth Movies Death, Film School Rejects, The Mary Sue, Bitch, and Reverse Shot. You’ll often find her writing Star Wars fanfics. Tweet her @maximinalist. Follow her on Instagram @amaximinalist