Full Cast Set for THE BANDSTAND Starry World Premiere at Paper Mill Playhouse
Paper Mill Playhouse will open its 2015-2016 season with the world premiere musical The Bandstand. As previously announced, Tony Award nominee Laura Osnes (Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella, Bonnie and Clyde), Corey Cott (Newsies, Gigi) and Tony Award winner Beth Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone, 42nd Street) will star in The Bandstand. Today, Paper Mill has confirmed the full cast for the world premier!
Laura Osnes was seen on Broadway in Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella, Bonnie and Clyde, Anything Goes, South Pacific and Grease. Ms. Osnes won the 2013 Drama Desk Award for outstanding actress in a musical for her performance as Ella in Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella. Ms. Osnes recently starred as Julie Jordan in Carousel at the Lyric Opera of Chicago opposite Steven Pasquale. In New York City, Ms. Osnes was featured in The Threepenny Opera, The Band Wagon, Randy Newman's Faust, Pipe Dream, The Sound of Music and more. Ms. Osnes appeared on television in Elementary (CBS), The Miraculous Year (HBO), Sondheim: The Birthday Concert (Avery Fisher Hall), Six by Sondheim (HBO) and the Kennedy Center Honors.
Corey Cott (Donny Novitski) most recently appeared on Broadway in Gigi starring opposite Vanessa Hudgens. Weeks after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University Mr. Cott starred as Jack Kelly in Newsies on Broadway. Last year Mr. Cott made his solo concert debut at the Kennedy Center as part of the ASCAP Centennial Celebration. Mr. Cott was a guest star on CBS' Madam Secretary and will appear as a guest star on TNT's Public Morals. Mr. Cott's film credits include The Intern, The Teacher, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and What You Get.
Beth Leavel (Mrs. Adams) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse, where she last appeared as Berthe in Boeing-Boeing. Ms. Leavel received Tony, Drama Desk, NY Outer Critics Circle, and Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards for her performance as the title character in The Drowsy Chaperone. Ms. Leavel's other Broadway credits include Baby It's You! Elf, Mamma Mia!, Young Frankenstein, 42nd Street, Crazy for You and more. Ms. Leavel was also seen in the New York City Center Encores! production of No, No, Nanette as Lucille. Ms. Leavel's film and television credits include ER, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, The Unusuals and more.
Joe Carroll (Johnny Simpson) appeared on Broadway in Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet and Once. Mr. Carroll was involved in New York City readings of Bandstand, August Rush, An Incident at Vichy, Michael John LaChiusa and Graciela Daniele's The Nine Fathers of Ariel and Fly by Night.
Brandon J. Ellis (Davy Zlatic) was seen on Broadway in Once and Company. Mr. Ellis' film and television credits include 30 Rock, Naked Brothers Band, She Wolf Rising and The Callback and he will be featured in Martin Scorsese's upcoming HBO show Vinyl.
James Nathan Hopkins (Jimmy Campbell) appeared off-Broadway in What's It All About? Bacharach Reimagined and Here's Hoover! A Berklee College of Music alumnus, Mr. Hopkins has traveled the country performing in various ensembles.
Geoff Packard (Wayne Wright) was seen on Broadway in Matilda, Rock of Ages and The Phantom of the Opera. Mr. Packard appeared in national tours of Wicked and The Phantom of The Opera, and he earned critical acclaim for his performance in the title role of Candide at the Goodman and Huntington theatres.
Joey Pero (Nick Radel) was a featured performer at President Obama's second inauguration. Mr. Pero has performed with Jersey Boys in Las Vegas and at the Composers Showcase of Las Vegas. Mr. Pero is making his acting debut in The Bandstand after graduating from the Juilliard School and New England Conservatory.
Rounding out the cast are: Tanya Birl, Thomas Cannizzaro, Max Clayton, Daniel Cooney, Matt Cusack, Andrea Dotto, Stacia Fernandez, Marc A. Heitzman, Ryan Kasprzak, Andrew Leggieri, Lauren Mufson, Mike Nappi, Jessica Lea Patty, Jeff Pew, Keven Quillon, Corey John Snide, Emily Tate and Mindy Wallace.
The Bandstand will be directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton, Bring It On, In the Heights). The Bandstand features a book and lyrics by Richard Oberacker and Robert Taylor and music by Richard Oberacker. The Bandstand begins performances Thursday, October 8, 2015, and runs through Sunday, November 8, 2015. The official press opening night is Sunday, October 18, at 7:00pm. Paper Mill Playhouse's 2015-2016 Season is proudly sponsored by Investors Bank.
Set in 1945, The Bandstand tells the story of a mismatched band of military veterans who join together to compete in a national radio contest in New York City with a prize that will guarantee instant stardom to the winners. But with complicated relationships, the demands of the competition and the challenging after-effects of war, going all the way for a win in the contest seems like a dream that may break these musicians. The original score is strongly influenced by authentic 1940s swing music and much of it is played onstage by the characters who make up the band. The show races towards a "live on air" finale that has an emotionally charged and surprise twist ending that requires every ounce of talent, stamina and raw nerve that these musicians possess.
The Bandstand will be performed at Paper Mill Playhouse eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Performance schedule: Wednesday at 7:30pm, Thursday at 1:30pm and 7:30pm, Friday at 8:00pm, Saturday at 1:30pm and 8:00pm and Sunday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm. Tickets are on sale now and range from $29 to $102. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.PaperMill.org. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted. Groups of 10 or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680. College students can order $20 rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office on the day of the performance.
"I'm thrilled that The Bandstand will receive its world premiere at Paper Mill Playhouse," remarked director and choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler. "Like so many of us in the theatre, I feel it's like being back at home. The show follows a group of young musicians, having recently returned home from the war. When this sizzling music and swing dancing explodes onto the stage, I know that the audiences are going to go wild."
Andy Blankenbuehler (Director and Choreographer) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse, where he last choreographed A Wonderful Life. On Broadway, Mr. Blankenbuehler choreographed Hamilton, In the Heights (Tony, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk Awards), Bring It On (Director-Choreographer), 9 to 5, The People in the Picture, The Apple Tree and Annie. Mr. Blankenbuehler's other work includes the world premieres of Hamilton (Public Theater-Drama Desk, Lortel, Obie Awards), Fly (Dallas Theater Center), and Lippa's A Little Princess, as well as The Wiz (Encores) and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (US tour). As a performer, Mr. Blankenbuehler danced on Broadway in Fosse, Contact, Man of La Mancha, Saturday Night Fever, Steel Pier, Big and Guys and Dolls.
Richard Oberacker (Music, Book and Lyrics) is currently conducting Cirque du Soleil's Kà in Las Vegas. Mr. Oberacker's conducting credits include Cirque's Dralion and national tours of Disney's The Lion King, Show Boat, Andrew Lloyd Webber's Music of the Night and Cats. As a composer, co-lyricist, and co-librettist, Mr. Oberacker's original musicals include A Little Theater (Aurelia Theater), In That Valley (NAMT), Dracula (Corbett Theater), The Gospel According to Fishman (Signature Theatre), Ace (NAMT, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse, Old Globe, Signature Theatre), Journey to the West (NYMF), The Parenting Project (Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati) and The Sandman (NAMT, Fredericia Theater of Denmark).
Robert Taylor (Book and Lyrics) taught foreign languages and ornithology in New York, English and music in China, served as music critic for the Albany Times Union, founded and directed several nonprofits and worked as a freelance musician and writer in Manhattan and as a translator in Europe and Asia. As lyricist and co-author, Mr. Taylor's musicals include Ace (NAMT, Cincinnati Playhouse, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Old Globe Theatre, Signature Theatre), Journey to the West (NYMF), The Parenting Project (Cincinnati Fringe Festival, Ensemble Theatre) and The Sandman (NAMT, Fredericia Theater of Denmark).
David Kreppel (Music Director/Vocal Arranger) served as the associate music supervisor for The Lion King on Broadway. Mr. Kreppel's other Broadway and touring credits include A Chorus Line, Mamma Mia, Saturday Night Fever and The Little Mermaid.
Bill Elliott (Orchestrations) won a Tony Award for An American in Paris and earned a Tony nomination for Nice Work If You Can Get It (also a Grammy nomination as co-producer of the cast album). Additional credits include Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella and Anything Goes on Broadway; Lady, Be Good! (Encores); Damsel in Distress (Chichester Festival). Arrangements for TV and film include Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, Northern Exposure, and Wedding Crashers.
Greg Anthony Rassen (Orchestrations, Dance & Incidental Music Arrangements) conducted the Broadway productions of An American in Paris, Bullets Over Broadway, The Little Mermaid, The Book of Mormon, and Cinderella. Off Broadway: Peter and the Starcatcher (New World Stages), Brundibar (New Victory). As a featured pianist: A Chorus Line (revival), An American in Paris, and Lady, Be Good! (Encores).
The Bandstand design team includes:
David Korins (Scenic Design) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse after recently designing Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Mr. Korins designed sets for many Broadway shows including Hamilton, Misery, Motown, Annie, Passing Strange and more. Mr. Korins won a Drama Desk Award, a Lucille Lortel Award, three Henry Hewes Awards and an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Set Design.
Paloma Young (Costume Design) won the 2012 Tony Award for best costume design of a play for her work on Peter and the Starcatcher. In New York City Ms. Young also designed costumes for Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 (Kazino-Lortel Award), Fly by Night, Here's Hoover!, Preludes, Brooklyn Babylon and more. Ms. Young also has worked regionally at La Jolla Playhouse, American Repertory Theater, Arena Stage, Williamstown Theatre Festival and more.
Jeff Croiter (Lighting Design) won the 2012 Tony Award for best lighting design of a play for his work on Peter and the Starcatcher. Mr. Croiter served as lighting designer for many Broadway shows including Something Rotten, Mothers and Sons, Jekyll & Hyde, Newsies and more.
Nevin Steinberg (Sound Design) received a 2013 Tony Award nomination for his sound design of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella. Mr. Steinberg's other Broadway credits include Hamilton, It Shoulda Been You, Mothers and Sons, Hair, Ragtime, Legally Blonde and more.
J. Jared Janas (Hair, Wig & Makeup Design) has worked on many Broadway shows including Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, Motown, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess and Next to Normal. At Paper Mill Playhouse Janas designed wigs for Can-Can, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Curtains and Peter Pan.
Tara Rubin Casting (Casting) is a leading New York casting firm whose Broadway credits include Aladdin, LES MISERABLES, Phantom of the Opera, Jersey Boys and Mamma Mia! among others. Tara Rubin Casting's regional credits include Yale Repertory, Westport Country Playhouse, Bucks County Playhouse and more. The lead casting director on this project is Lindsay Levine, CSA.