Hm. Papermill has been striking out lately.
Osnes' character's name is "Julia Trojan" (not a misprint).. Several "rubber" jokes with respect to her last name during the night... Seems like her last name is that for the gimmicks alone. Needless. Distracts from the proceedings...
As for the comment above about her having nothing to do, I couldn't agree more. Explaining further might give some things away, though the way the book is written, there is almost nothing to give away. Kept waiting the whole first act to get to the expected twist...and... nothing. There are several ways the story could be set up for a big payoff and yet none of those roads were taken. Effectively, she's window dressing, with a fine voice. Corey is the star of the show, though didn't yet seem comfortable with the approach he was being asked to take with the character. I really blame the whole mess on a weak book and (mostly) score, but, especially, director Blankenbuehler.. His staging was a distraction most of the show. The set didn't help either.
Note: my 19 year old had no clue what the show was about from the title.. The Bandstand/logo, to wife and I, immediately conjured up the WWII world/music/swing/big bands... To the younger crowd, no connection to that era, whatsoever. In some ways, the real music of that era is so evocative, that I longed for the real thing throughout the show.
eyehrtfood, while the score is not top drawer, by any means, the idea of Bandstand being a jukebox musical using '40s songs so familiar that they lull you to sleep makes my skin crawl. Jukebox musicals are the bane of musical theater.
There are so many options they could have tried with the Osnes/Cott relationship and it goes nowhere except down a predictable road. I am not one for "twists" because they usually make little sense or are convoluted, but there ways this could have develop with some real emotional conflict. They missed it.
Agree: direction did not help and logo? Why a bass? The main character plays piano! Between that and the head scratching set you wonder if ANYONE read the script before doing their designs.
jersey boys is the bane of musical theater?
Jersey Boys is essentially a play with music and the one (or two?) times they try to use pre-existing songs to tell the story, it is bone-headed and lyrically makes no sense at all.
I repeat - jukebox musicals are the bane of musical theater - and most knowledgeable people would agree.
JayG 2 said: "Jersey Boys is essentially a play with music and the one (or two?) times they try to use pre-existing songs to tell the story, it is bone-headed and lyrically makes no sense at all. I repeat - jukebox musicals are the bane of musical theater - and most knowledgeable people would agree."
This post is all wrong in SO many ways. Wow.
No, it's not.
I like when people think that their opinion about art is a universal law. It makes taking anything they say following thay easier to ignore.
Only those knowledgeable in the most narrow, conservative and small-minded way of defining a rather broad genre of art, which is hypocrisy at its best. Most people knowledgeable in musical theatre history, Broadway history and art history would agree.
Did anyone see the previous NYC reading of this? I remembered it hearing that it had much more of a story with conflict than what is being described by all who already saw the production.
Charlie1992 do you work for the show ?
charlie1992 said: "This is an AMAZING new musical! The show is definitely not as tight as it needs to be right now, but they are in previews and you can tell they are trying to find their footing. The music in this show is SPECTACULAR and I LOVED the choreography from Andy Blankenbeuhler. I also loved how seamless all of the transitions in the show were. Laura Osnes and Corey Cott are both giving heart wrenching performances and the guys in the band are as good if not better than any musician you would here in a broadway pit (especially the trumpet player). The show is set in the 40s but feels very contemporary and relatable to todays audience and I enjoyed that it didn't feel like an old school musical. They are tackling the issue of PTSD in the military so it was a lot darker than i expected and I really liked that! I agree that I wanted more from Beth's role and the second act is a lot better than the first, but if they cut a few things I think this show will be a huge hit (was a little long). I was in the audience the 2nd preview and everyone around me LOVED it! Its refreshing to see something new. I hope they bring it to broadway!
Im sorry. Im new here. Ill make sure to refrain from having any enthusiasm in my future posts. Just thought it was worthy... Heading to see "on your feet" this wknd and ill make sure i trash it so ill be "accepted" here lol
charlie1992 said: " Im sorry. Im new here. Ill make sure to refrain from having any enthusiasm in my future posts. Just thought it was worthy... Heading to see "on your feet" this wknd and ill make sure i trash it so ill be "accepted" here lol
No one is asking you to trash a show. But you just joined this forum.. Is this the only show you have seen? or heard about? why did you want to comment on this show? Why did you just decide to join and write on this forum ?
JayG 2 said: "Jersey Boys is essentially a play with music and the one (or two?) times they try to use pre-existing songs to tell the story, it is bone-headed and lyrically makes no sense at all.
I repeat - jukebox musicals are the bane of musical theater - and most knowledgeable people would agree."
You think they only used pre-existing songs to tell the story "one or two times"? The whole idea of the show is that the Four Seasons' catalog frequently reflected what the band was going through in their lives.
Very pleased to have seen this show tonight at Paper Mill Playhouse. Yes, it needs work. But more importantly the seeds of a completely original musical are being planted at the Paper Mill and something special appears to be flowering. The score is terrific--a big band sound with lilting melodies. The cast is strong, with a sensational performance by Laura Osnes. Blankenbuehler's work is excellent--the piece moves beautifully. There are of course issues. It's slow getting started and some of the book scenes lack bite. The show needs to pack a greater emotional wallop. But the bones are there. The audience tonight leapt to its feet and for good reason. Terrific music, fine choreography, an original story. I hope this team of artists continues to work on this piece--they are giving birth to a new musical and for that I'm grateful. With more focused storytelling, greater humor(too many jokes land flat) and more deeply felt exploration of the central relationship The Bandstand could be something truly swell, to coin a phrase. So glad I saw this show tonight.
Saw this evening's performance and left early to catch a train so that we didn't have to transfer to get back to the city. Beth Leavel is a master of comedy and it was so lovely to see her illuminate the relationship with her daughter (Osnes' character). Such a shame that her talent is not being given it's light. She was cast in a Roundabout reading of an original musical comedy earlier this year and I hope that this piece continues to develop as it could be her star vehicle.
BANDSTAND needs some major work on the book and score. And there's no reason to rush it to New York just yet. It could be special one day, if they are wise to use this production as a draft.
Forbes On Paper Mill.
amoni said: "Forbes On Paper Mill.
Great article - thanks for sharing. Does anyone know who the producers are who brought Bandstand to Paper Mill?
Saw this on Fri night and really enjoyed it. They seemed to have fixed a large amount of the problems and I overheard staff saying how noticeable they were. Expecting good reviews tonight.
What I liked most about "The Bandstand" is the tone of the story and Corey Cott's performance. I cared about the characters trying to deal with the aftermath of war and was rooting for them. I also liked that the vets played their own instruments and performed "club" numbers. I missed Cott in Newsies and Gigi so this was my first intro to him and "wow" what a powerful performance. It's hard to take your eyes off of him during the whole show. Whatever happens to this show, I have to say I am so glad I saw it simply for his performance alone. There is more to like...Beth Leavel was terrific and as others have mentioned, I too was left wanting to see more of her. Laura Osnes' performance is excellent but her character needs a bit more to sink her teeth into.
The score was okay but nothing truly memorable. Part of that could have been caused by the direction as I think this show would have worked a lot better for me if it was smaller. I can't believe I am saying this since I typically love great choreography but in this instance I found it a distraction to the story. Frankly, if it were removed or scaled way down, I think it would complement the overall tone of the show better.
As others have mentioned, the title and logo confused me too. Initially I thought "American Bandstand" and thought it would be 60's or 70's music. I am grateful to have seen an original musical and wish it success.
I saw the matinee yesterday and have been trying to put my finger on what exactly didn't fully resonate with me. Performances were good to great. Super energy, nice staging.
I guess what seems odd to me is the whole show is spent showing how talented this guy is and how good a "lyricist" she is. And they've put together a really super band of talented musicians who are also all vets. Most of the show hinges on this contest they hope to win because of their "talent". But the final song -- is "screamed" rather than sung and is not at all musically satisfactory. So in a sense this band become "rich and famous" we assume at the end -- not because of their talent -- not because of a great performance, but simply because they chose to lecture, scream, and "complain" on a national radio broadcast. Yes, I get that they "threw" the contest due to the rights issue, but still -- wouldn't it have been nice to end with a really powerful musical number that said what they wanted to say, but at the same time was a really effective song, really well performed? Can't the number have been powerful and emotional and still have been a really GOOD musical number? Or is that just me?
I also got a little tired of the repeated references about only wanting to go to NYC if they could go first class. OK, we got that. But were they really going to NOT go at all if they didn't get that extra money to go first class? Seemed kind of far fetched and way too contrived, as did other elements of the story.
And those "issues" the guys brought back from the war didn't really seem to be played up enough to make the ending more important. So one guy is alcoholic, but it never made him miss a major performance or any real conflict. Another is on major meds, but again -- it didn't really cause any conflict to the story. I guess, since the story is so dramatic, I wanted a little more drama about the relationships between these guys as it relates to their post war issues.
I completely agree with you about this needing more dramatic moments and the final song being screamed.
Well, these critics definitely don't agree with most of the negative notices on here:
WiCkEDrOcKS said: "Well, these critics definitely don't agree with most of the negative notices on here
And imagine MY surprise, having seen and reported last week on a show that barely deserved to be on the Paper Mill stage 9 days ago when I saw it (and seemed an utter bore to the audience). Could they possibly have fixed it in that amount of time? I certainly have seen very positive comments/reviews in recent days. IF SO, amazing...
I was there last night and I enjoyed the show. Good music, talented actors, a nice evening.
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