BWW Reviews: GETTIN' THE BAND BACK TOGETHER at George Street Playhouse Rocks the House with Humor
George Street Playhouse has masterfully produced a new rock musical, Gettin' the Band Back Together. Opening their 40th Anniversary Season, the show runs through October 27th. This world premiere is the clever and comical story of four high school buddies who reunite their band, Juggernaut, for a "Battle of the Bands" competition in their hometown of Sayreville, New Jersey.
The book is by Ken Davenport and The Grundleshotz, the production is directed by Tony Award Winner, John Rando, Music and Lyrics by Mark Allen, Additional Material by Sarah Saltzberg, and Choreography by Kelly Devine.
The cast is comprised of Broadway veterans who perfectly capture the uniqueness of their roles. George Street Playhouse audiences will be charmed and amused by male and female characters that they can truly relate to. The musical itself delivers the hopeful spirit of "second chances" for people who may have left a dream or two behind in their teens.
The hilarity commences when 40 year old Mitch Martino played by Mitchell Jarvis loses his finance job in New York City and is forced to return home to live with his very attractive and spirited mother, Sharon, played by Alison Fraser. BranDon Williams as Tygen Billows is the quintessential "townie," who antagonizes many in this suburb with his foolish vanity; he also owns a good deal of local real estate and is the leader of the band, Mouthfeel. The reunion of Sayreville's old friends and foes results in a series of plot twists that include romantic encounters and true confessions.
The lively score includes the full company numbers like Jersey, Ride On Cowboy and The First Gig which takes place at an Orthodox Jewish Wedding. The First Gig features Juggernaut's lead guitarist and local high school student Ricky Bling, played by Evan Daves doing a break-out rap performance to save the celebration. Well staged and comical numbers like Bart's Confession sung by Jay Klaitz as Bart Vickers, and Mouthfeel's "Battle of the Bands" song, Power Tool keep the show rocking and rolling.
Garden State audiences will enjoy some of the inside Jersey jokes, like the references to "Exit 124," and the fact that Sayreville is located in "Western, Eastern, Central Middlesex County." But, this show has a much broader reach. Gettin' The Band Back Together is a laugh out loud musical for everyone that will definitely leave you feeling good.
George Street Playhouse is located at 9 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick. To purchase tickets for Gettin' The Band Back Together and their other upcoming productions, contact the box office at (732) 246-7717 or visit their web site at www.GSPonline.org.
Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson