yes they made a lot of changes
Well, I hope they don't think they can now rush this into NYC like Honeymoon in Vegas. The show is not ready for prime time - like Honeymoon - and, although I enjoyed some of it and appreciate an original musical, I hope it gets the serious work it needs.
The question is will it transfer and when?
Did you read the actual reviews...?
You are correct on your HuffPost assessment. However, these below qualify as more journalistic.
New Jersey.com (the Star-Ledger)
even some British press attended
So the reviews are good it could transfer?
I hope it transfers! I've heard good things about the score and I love big band jazz so I'd love a cast album.
The New York Times have weighed in with a mostly negative review, calling Bandstand a "wearisome musical drama" and a "sincerely meant yet curiously flat musical." The Times principal criticism of the production is the sameness of the music and choreography. This won't help its chances to transfer.
Saw the matinée, yesterday, and was, largely, disappointed. This is an odd and oddly boring show. It's a great idea for a musical or play, recalling films like The Best Years of Our Lives and The Deer Hunter, that deal with the psychological effects of war on returning soldiers. Coupled with half-hearted "swing" dancing and up-tempo, pseudo-40s music and you have an odd concoction that ends, 2 hours and 45 minutes later, as just "okay."
I looked forward to a new score, but each song blurs together and sounds the same, except Laura Osnes' 11 o'clock number, which inexplicably, is screamed (a good bit of the score seems to be delivered the same way). Her number belongs in an entirely different musical. It's screamed very well, but does not fit with anything that comes before.
I have not seen 'Hamilton' but I assume that Mr. Blankenbuehler's contribution is more interesting than it is here. I understand that this is a musical about a band, but it screams for one big 'whole-cast' swing-dance number and it never comes.
All of the characters are underwritten, which is one of my biggest issues with the show. The book is a good idea, half-heartedly written. We care about the characters because they are American soldiers with obvious problems and we, the audience, project a humanity and compassion, that is not organic from the show.....MILD SPOILER: one soldier is an alcoholic. We know he helped liberate Dachau, but he makes a passing comment about what he's seen and jokes about enjoying his alcoholism and that's it. Another takes "pain" pills and there are several jokes about them, but nothing more. END SPOILER....No one ever gets help (maybe that is of the time period), but more deeply exploring the trauma of these soldiers (and the widowed wife) would go a long way to making this a really strong dramatic musical.
The actors are fine, some better than others. Corey Cott sings well but tries too hard. Laura Osnes, as usual, is quite good, in a very underwritten role that seems to exist, just for sheer coincidence (the band needs a singer and she just happens to be one). Beth Leavel, as Osnes' mother, is frustratingly wasted. Her character could have added so much to the story and there are hints of that, but mostly because Ms. Leavel knows how to make the most of her role.
There are numerous odd directorial/staging choices....MILD SPOILERS: Several times, it appears that the "ghosts" of soldiers follow some of the characters around, but then they disappear and it's highly ineffective, if that's what is intended...END SPOILERS. There are some quick flashbacks to battle scenes, but they are half-heartedly executed, like the rest of the show. The ending is abrupt and makes little sense--as though they tacked it on, because they didn't know how else to end the show. It, like the show, falls totally flat.
And, somebody needs to change Osnes' character name. Did a 12-year-old name her Trojan and then think several condom jokes were funny? A small point, but indicative of the whole and infuriatingly puerile, at best.
Three of us went. None of us hated it. Second act was better than the first.
At the end, we all said the same word.."okay."
Does anyone happen to have a song list from the Paper Mill production? It would be greatly appreciated.
Here you go...
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