Alison Fraser and Mitchell Jarvis to Lead GETTIN' THE BAND BACK TOGETHER at George Street Playhouse, 9/24-10/27
9 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick will be rockin' every night beginning September 24 with music and laughter. George Street Playhouse and Artistic Director David Saint have announced casting for the opening production for the venerable theatre's fortieth season. Gettin' The Band Back Together (formerly titled Garage Band) is a rockin' valentine to the Garden State, and will be directed by Tony Award-winner John Rando - who also helmed The Toxic Avenger in New Brunswick (and New York) a few seasons back. Gettin' The Band Back Together will rock the house beginning Tuesday, September 24 and continue through Sunday, October 27. Opening night is set for Friday, October 4. Gettin' The Band Back Together is performed by special arrangement with Davenport Theatrical Enterprises, Inc. and Roy Putrino.
The cast is comprised of Broadway veterans, many of whom will be making their George Street Playhouse debut: Heather Brave (Circle of Friends), Evan Daves (The Coast of Utopia), Michelle Duffy (Leap of Faith), Ryan Duncan (Soul Doctor), two-time Tony Award-nominee Alison Fraser (GSP's Lend Me a Tenor, Gypsy on Broadway), Deidre Goodwin (A Chorus Line), Christopher Gurr (Memphis national tour), Mitchell Jarvis (Rock of Ages), Jay Klaitz (High Fidelity), Garth Kravits (The Drowsy Chaperone), Adam Monley (Mamma Mia!), Emily McNamara (Around the World in 80 Days), Manu Narayan (Bombay Dreams), Tad Wilson (Wonderland), and Brandon Williams (TV's Entourage, Stay at Home Dad).
Gettin' The Band Back Together boasts a book by Ken Davenport and The Grundelshotz, music and lyrics by Mark Allen with additional material by Sarah Saltzberg. Orchestrations are by Doug Katsaros, Fred Lassen serves as musical director, Kelly Devine is choreographer and Tony Award-winner John Rando is director. Creating the world of the play are scenic designer Derek McLane, lighting designer Ken Billington, costume designer Gregory Gale and sound designer Peter Fitzgerald.
The Grundleshotz is a group of performers and writers comprised of Sebastian Arcelus, Fred Berman, Michael Hirstreet, Jenna Coker Jones, Craig Jorczack, Nathan Kaufman, Jay Klaitz, Emily McNamara, Jennifer Miller, Bhavesh Patel, Sarah Saltzberg and Fletcher Young, who helped develop Gettin' The Band Back Together through a series of improvisational rehearsals.
Fast paced and hilarious, Gettin' The Band Back Together is the tale of Mitch - recently forty and cut loose from his job on Wall Street. Forced by finances to move back to his childhood home in Sayreville, NJ, Mitch - a fine musician thought to be the next Bon Jovi - reunites with his high school band mates in a high-stakes battle of the bands. Best buddies, old girlfriends, high school bullies who never grew up and one hot New Jersey momma make for fast times and the ultimate "do-over" for this Jersey Boy.
Individual tickets, priced $38-$62, are on sale now, as are a variety of full and flexible subscription packages. Contact the George Street Playhouse Box Office 732-246-7717 for tickets and information, or visit The Playhouse website: www.GSPonline.org, on which can also be found directions to The Playhouse by public transportation, or by car, as well as parking and dining recommendations. George Street Playhouse is located at 9 Livingston Avenue, in the heart of New Brunswick's vibrant downtown and steps away from parking, transportation and fine dining for every cuisine and budget.
Ken Davenport (Book) co-conceived the award-winning Altar Boyz, and also wrote and directed the Off-Broadway hits The Awesome 80s Prom, My First Time and Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating & Marriage. On Broadway, Davenport's producing credits include Macbeth, Kinky Boots (Tony Award), Godspell, Chinglish, Oleanna, Speed-the-Plow, Will Ferrell's You're Welcome America (Tony nomination), Blithe Spirit and 13. Featured on a national commercial for Apple's iPhone and named one of Crain's "Forty Under 40," Ken is one of the co-organizers of TEDxBroadway. He created and developed the Broadway board game Be a Broadway Star, recently seen on the "Today" show, and a smartphone app called AT THE BOOTH, which gives a listing of available shows at the TKTS booth in Times Square and was featured on Entertainment Weekly's "Must List." Ken also released These Magnificent Miles: On the Long Road with Red Wanting Blue, a documentary on one of the top unsigned rock bands in the country. His blog, TheProducersPerspective.com, has been featured in Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, The Gothamist and more. He has written articles for Forbes, Mashable and Imedia and has spoken about the theater and arts marketing at conferences around the world. Upcoming projects include the world premiere of Somewhere in Time at Portland Center Stage this spring. For more information, visit www.DavenportTheatrical.com.
Mark Allen (Music and Lyrics) is a composer/lyricist, songwriter and arranger. He is a 2009 recipient of the American Theatre Wing Jonathan Larson Grant, 2007 Frederick Lowe Award, 2005 ASCAP Max Dreyfus Award. He also an accomplished studio vocalist and voice over performer. Credits include: Tinyard Hill, with Tommy Newman (Theatreworks - Silicon Valley, Red Mountain Theatre, Human Race Theatre, Goodspeed, NAMT 2007); Band Geeks! with Newman, Gaby Alter, and Gordon Greenberg (Goodspeed Musicals 2010, NAMT 2009); The Joker's Game with Louis St. Louis and Jim Racheff. Film music: Intercession (dir. Davey Fisher, 2011), Going Down (dir. Ryan Hamelin, 2011), A Viking Saga (2008 Best Original Score -- First Take Film Festival). www.markallenmusic.com. He currently works at Nylon Studios in New York and has created commercial music for companies such as Windex, Corona, Whole Foods, Dell, Castrol and Fisher Price.
John Rando (Director) was director for The Toxic Avenger which opened George Street Playhouse's 2008-09 Season. He is the 2002 Tony and Outer Critics Circle Award-winning director of Urinetown the Musical. Other Broadway credits include A Christmas Story, The Wedding Singer, A Thousand Clowns and Neil Simon's The Dinner Party. With New York City Center Encores! He has directed several highly acclaimed productions: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, On the Town, Damn Yankees, Face the Music, Of Thee I Sing, The Pajama Game, Do Re Mi, Strike Up the Band and It's a Bird, It's a Plane...It's Superman. Off-Broadway credits include the New York transfer of The Toxic Avenger (2009 Outer Critics Circle Award, Best Off-Broadway Musical), Pig Farm at Roundabout Theatre Company, Bright Ideas at Manhattan Class Company, Polish Joke at Manhattan Theatre Club, Mere Mortals at Primary Stages and The Comedy of Errors at The Acting Company among many others. His numerous credits in regional theatre include American Conservatory Theater, Alley Theatre, Geffen Playhouse, The Old Globe, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Berkshire Theatre Festival and Barrington Stage Company among many others. He was a 1992 Drama League Directing Fellow, and his accomplishments have been recognized by the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television with the 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award, and The University of Texas with the 2004 Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award.
Under the leadership of Artistic Director David Saint since 1998, George Street Playhouse is a nationally recognized theatre, presenting an acclaimed mainstage season while providing an artistic home for established and emerging theatre artists. Founded in 1974, The Playhouse has been represented by numerous productions both on and Off-Broadway. Recent productions include The Toxic Avenger (Outer Critics Circle Award for Best New Musical), Anne Meara's Down the Garden Paths, the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Drama League nominated production of The Spitfire Grill and the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning play Proof by David Auburn, which was developed at GSP during the 1999 Next Stage Series of new plays. In addition to its mainstage season, GSP's Touring Theatre features four issue-oriented productions and tours to more than 250 schools in the tri-state area, and are seen by more than 60,000 students annually. George Street Playhouse programming is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Gettin' The Band Back Together features Book by Ken Davenport and The Grundleshotz and Music and Lyrics by Mark Allen, with Additional Material by Sarah Saltzberg and Choreography by Kelly Devine. Performed by special arrangement with Davenport Theatrical Enterprises, Inc and Roy Putrino. This production is sponsored by The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation. It runs September 24 - October 27, 2013 at the George Street Playhouse • 9 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick. Box Office: 732-246-7717; www.GSPonline.org.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride