Barn's Boy-Wonder Brings Back Bandstand
Born in the wrong era, baby-faced Nicky Wood is making his mark while modeling his work after the eternal teenager himself, Dick Clark. This New Year's weekend Wood is putting his two "day jobs" on the back burner to raise funds for his childhood theatre by paying tribute to his hero, Clark.
Wood serves as a Production Show Stager for Norwegian Creative Studios. "Nick is old beyond his young years. It is wonderful to work with an up-and-coming actor who knows how to bring the old-school value to what's new and now" said Wood's Install Supervisor, R. Kim Jordan, a Broadway veteran and former Vice President of Actor's Equity Association.
"Norwegian does Broadway-caliber shows and has a distinct formula for success. It's exciting to see how their formula is influencing my work back home" said Wood. "Working for this (cruise line) has been such a blessing, and it's all thanks to Broadway Theatre Project."
Wood's second "day job" is as the Assistant Artistic Director of Broadway Theatre Project. 28 years ago, the program was co-conceived and founded by Ann Reinking (FOSSE) and Wood's mentor, Debra McWaters (CHICAGO). Six years with the project has offered Wood the unique opportunity to work alongside Ben Vereen (PIPPIN), Donna McKechnie (A CHORUS LINE), Telly Leung (ALADDIN), Todrick Hall (KINKY BOOTS), Mandy Gonzalez (HAMILTON) and many other theatre icons.
Wood is using the skills he has learned on the high seas and from the Great White Way to create his AMEICAN BANDSTAND TRIBUTE. "We are excited that Nicky will grace our stage again. He is a charismatic entertainer our audiences often request and love to see." said Barn President, Christopher Mazzella.
The Barn Theatre, the only non-profit community theatre from Port St. Lucie to Jupiter, fostered Wood's skills as a director and choreographer since he was thirteen. Wood's recent Barn hits include WELCOME TO VEGAS, THE RAT PACK NEW YEAR'S and YES SIR, THAT'S MY BROADWAY.
"Every one of his productions has sold out and benefited us both artistically and financially. We are very proud to have had a part in his artistic development" said the Barn's Administrative Vice President, Francine Beckstead.
Celebrating their 48th season, there is a laundry-list of necessary refurbishments to keep the 501c3 theatre thriving, including $15,000 for critical roof repairs. The Barn Theatre's Gala brought the non-profit organization closer to its goal, but Wood wants to bring the effort all the way home.
"Giving back is so important, especially this time of year. I'm happy to do whatever I can to help the Barn continue to offer opportunities the way they have to me" said Wood. "And I get to have Christmas back home with my wonderful family and some of my best friends!"
Wood's talented cast of four hail from as near as Orlando to as far as Los Angeles. Two of the cast members are alums of BTP, two have performed on an NCL ship, two of which graduated from The University of Central Florida and two currently attend UCF.
"This show is a blast from the past. An hour and a half of nostalgia that you won't want to miss" said cast member Ryan Koch of Tallahassee.
Wood's admiration of Dick Clark and his legacy is at the forefront of this production, but the original idea of celebrating the music of AMERICAN BANDSTAND Wood credits to the Barn's Artistic Vice President, Jeanette Mazzella, who appeared on AMERICAN BANDSTAND in Philadelphia and was a former sweetheart of BANDSTAND star, Johnny Maestro of The Crests.
"Who was going to be on and what new dance would they be doing today? The Twist, The Stroll, The Mashed Potato or The Locomotion? Justine and Bob, Arlene and Kenny...Oh, they were all our friends" said Mazzella. "(Those were) the happiest days of my life...we had no cell phones, or emails or social media, but we had each other, and we had rock 'n roll, and we had Dick Clark and his AMERICAN BANDSTAND. I am sorry that today's kids will never get to experience those fabulous fifties."
This December 27-30 let the musical bubbly pour as you toast to the spark of Dick Clark and the music of American Bandstand! "Rock Around the Clock" while reliving music from the biggest show on TV. Fall in love all over again in "This Magic Moment," feel the heartbreak of being a "Teenager in Love," and cut a rug "At the Hop!"
For tickets to NICKY WOOD'S AMERICAN BANDSTAND TRIBUTE, visit call (772) 287-4884 or visit barntheatretickets.com. Tickets $30.
You know the steps, you know the songs, so join the stars and support a good cause!