Ryan Koch Croons In American Bandstand Tribute

Ryan Koch Croons In American Bandstand Tribute

When one thinks of AMERICAN BANDSTAND it's easy to think of charismatic teen stars such as Frankie Lymon, Fabian, Elvis Presley, Bobby Rydell, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and many more.

The songs of these artists have stood the test of time, yet seem like ancient history to 21-year-old Tallahassee-native, Ryan Koch, who will spend his holiday on the other side of the Sunshine State in Stuart to bring these personalities to life in the Barn Theatre's AMERICAN BANDSTAND TRIBUTE.

As he was born four decades after AMERICAN BANDSTAND debuted on television, this tribute spectacular has taught Koch a lot about the songs, stories and stars of the 1950's and 60's.

"Before this (show), the only exposure to this era I'd received was through mixtapes of songs my parents liked from those days...I now hope to have a hand in passing down more of this music to people my age and younger, so these songs and their legacies can live on" said Koch.

As a toddler, Koch would repetitively watch recordings of the Nickelodeon children's program, BLUE'S CLUES, and would quote the host, Steve, word for word.

"I wish I was kidding, but for a solid month or maybe even longer I would only respond to 'Steve...'" said Koch. "I confused countless school teachers and soccer coaches alike with that one."

Recognizing their son's extraordinary knack for recitation, Koch's parents did what any smart Tallahassee parent would do, they enrolled their boy in classes at the Young Actor's Theatre.

YAT is one of the oldest independent youth theatre programs in the country, celebrating it's 43rd consecutive year of training and production and having produced recognizable names such as Emmy-winner Tony Hale (ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT) and Cheryl Hines (CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM).

Koch studied band and chorus in grade school, where his sixth-grade teacher realized the child prodigy had perfect pitch, the ability to recognize or produce notes and keys without any reference. Once Koch understood this, he knew he would be doing himself a disservice if he didn't pursue the arts.

"Ryan is an amazing talent who commands any stage he's on. He has a great sense of comedic timing to match his outstanding performance skills" said Earl Weaver, Coordinator of Musical Theatre at The University of Central Florida.

Koch is a junior at UCF where he is pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre. This preeminent theatre program at one of the nation's largest universities is where Koch met Nicky Wood, producer, director, choreographer and star of the AMERICAN BANDSTAND TRIBUTE.

"From my first rehearsal with Nicky, I knew that this man was a workhorse. The drive he has is something that I can latch onto...his devotion to this piece and this theatre makes it easy to get excited about the work. The fact that he writes for, designs tech for, and stars in the show will never cease to astound me" said Koch.

Wood is equally enamored with Koch's work. After seeing him star in Leonard Bernstein's MASS at The Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando, Wood couldn't imagine co-starring this show with anyone else.

The talented cast of four also includes Lauren Stromak and Julian Kazenas.

"I'm excited to bring the Bandstand to the Barn for five performances only! Come out and see us!"

Nicky Wood's AMERICAN BANDSTAND TRIBUTE runs at The Barn Theatre in Stuart, FL, December 27-30 @ 2 & 8 PM. Tickets $30. For more information visit www.barn-theatre.com or call 772-287-4884.

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