Bandstand

A CONCORD THEATRICALS TITLE

Bandstand

Full-Length Musical, Drama  /  6f, 12m

Music by Richard Oberacker
Book and Lyrics by Robert Taylor and Richard Oberacker

The boys are back, but their war isn't over.

Bandstand is an unflinching and honest new musical about confronting the cost of war and finding salvation in the notes of a song.

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    6f, 12m
  • Duration
    Duration
    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Subgenre
    Period
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Appropriate for all audiences
Accolades
Accolades
  • Winner! 2017 Tony Award for Best Choreography
    Nominee: Two 2017 Tony Awards, including Best Orchestrations
    Winner! Two 2017 Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding Orchestrations
    Nominee: Seven 2017 Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Music & Outstanding Book of a Musical
Licence details
  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.
Bandstand

Details

Summary

It’s 1945. American soldiers return home to ticker-tape parades and overjoyed families, and Private First Class Donny Novitski, singer and songwriter, returns with the hope of rebuilding his life with just the shirt on his back and a dream in his heart. 

When NBC announces a national competition to find the nation’s next swing band sensation, Donny joins forces with a motley group of fellow veterans, and together they form a band unlike any the nation has ever seen. However, complicated relationships, the demands of the competition, and the challenging after-effects of war may break these musicians. But when Donny meets a beautiful, young singer named Julia, he finds the perfect harmony in words and music that could take this band of brothers all the way to the live radio broadcast finale in New York City. Victory will require every ounce of talent, stamina, and raw nerve that these musicians can muster.

History

Bandstand premiered at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ on October 18, 2015. On April 26, 2017, Bandstand premiered on Broadway at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. Directed and choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler, the production featured Corey Cott, Laura Osnes and Beth Leavel.

DONNY NOVITSKI – Approximately twenty-four years old, ruggedly handsome with his Italian and Polish heritage. A piano (and accordion) prodigy, he is passionate about swing music and writing his own songs. While clearly shining with that elusive star quality, he carries the dark weight of wartime experiences. Baritone/Tenor, B-flat 2 to B-flat 4.
JULIA TROJAN – Approximately twenty-four years old, beautiful in a wholesome and effortless way. A gifted singer, but one without the drive to be a star. Her talents are personal to her and not showy, a means of expression and discovery. She is smart, honest, and no one’s fool. Her star quality is born of her natural ability to simply tell the truth when singing; she is emotionally translucent on a stage. Soprano with strong belt, G3 to F-sharp 5.
MRS. JUNE ADAMS – Mid-forties to mid-fifties, she is Julia’s mother and a woman of very modest means. She has a nervous anxiety most of the time and a desire to please that belies a personal history filled with disappointment and loss. Out of this energy comes her very quirky sense of comedy. But her grounded honesty is never far away when it comes to Julia’s happiness. Alto, G3 to B4.
WAYNE WRIGHT – Late twenties to late thirties, he is a gifted jazz trombone player and a veteran Marine Lieutenant. Wayne manifests his war experiences in a severe case of obsessive compulsive disorder. He carries enormous tension in his body and mind and maintains an aloofness that hides his emotional turmoil. He is a man that can be very intimidating in his silence. High Baritone, C3 to B-flat 4.
JIMMY CAMPBELL – Late twenties to mid-thirties, he is a gifted jazz reed player, predominantly saxophone and clarinet. Jimmy is very bookish, thin, and well put together. He is wisely studying law, having just returned from the Navy. He has a careful and guarded personality but is fiercely loyal to Donny and the band. While the text never gives him away, Jimmy is privately gay and committed to fighting injustices in whatever ways he can. Baritone, C3 to G-sharp 4.
JOHNNY SIMPSON – Mid-twenties to late thirties, he is a drumming phenomenon. A returning Army Private, he suffers from severe back pain due to an injury requiring three surgeries. He is therefore reliant on pain medication, which affects his mental clarity. He also shows signs of traumatic head injury with memory loss. But mostly this all combines to give Johnny an almost childlike and gentle personality. He is by no means stupid – he has very honest insight – but he carries a charming simplicity that is in contrast to his sharp and impressive musical skills. High Baritone, B2 to G-sharp 4.
DAVY ZLATIC – Late twenties to early forties, he is a wiz on the upright bass. A recent Army veteran who served in the European theater and liberated Dachau, Davy is modeled heavily on Shakespeare’s lovable Falstaff. A big man of big appetites, he drinks to no end and maintains a constant stream of silly jokes to entertain. He is an incredible talent and a loyal friend, playing the clown but in reality the protector. Baritone, B2 to F-sharp 4.
NICK RADEL – Late twenties to early forties, he is a genius trumpet player. A recent veteran of the Army who spent the last months of the European battles in a German prisoner-of-war camp, Nick is a man desperate for career and personal security. He is outrageously confident in his gifts as a musician and always on the lookout for those who would shortchange him of his deserved credit and compensation. Everything seems to be a personal affront to him and he has not yet been able to stop fighting for his life every day since returning to the home front. He prides himself on his ability to play exceptionally high notes on his trumpet and sometimes has a hard time being a team player. Baritone, B2 to F4.
JEAN ANN RYAN – Mid-thirties to late fifties, a glamorous local radio personality. Jean Ann prides herself on being the voice of several of WTAM Radio’s most popular programs. She believes herself to be more worldly and sophisticated than she likely is, but her outsized persona is matched by a sentimental and dramatic heart. A voice that recalls early Judy Garland and Kate Smith, she is a warm alto.
OLIVER – Mid-forties to early sixties, a magnanimous owner of one of Cleveland’s most popular nightclubs. The club that bears his name may not be the fanciest in town, but it is respected for its music scene. Oliver treats his guests like family and enjoys the spotlight whenever possible. Ensemble vocal track.
AL – Mid-forties to early sixties, an elegant and gracious owner of the most prestigious supper club in Cleveland, The Pavilion. He is suave and attentive to his guests but carries the confidence of the upper classes of Midwestern society. Ensemble vocal track.
JO – Late twenties to early fifties, a forthright owner of the hole-in-the- wall jazz club The Blue Wisp. Jo is a woman in a man’s game and has incredible confidence. She’s possibly pretty masculine herself and doesn’t care who knows it. She’s proud of her little club and loyal to her musicians and her decidedly blue-collar clientele. Ensemble vocal track.
ANDRE BARUCH – Mid-forties to mid-fifties, the real-life radio host and personality of several popular radio programs on NBC Radio in New York City. Andre is debonair and sincere with a classic radio voice that has the trained Mid-Atlantic accent of the time. Ensemble vocal track.
ROGER COHEN – Late twenties to early fifties, a corporate businessman in the much larger entertainment machine of the National Broadcasting Company. Roger is officious, efficient, and very good at his job. While he enjoys show business and is comfortable and confident in its rarified world, he has no patience for conflict. Ensemble vocal track.
JAMES HAUPT – Early thirties to early fifties, a successful director of radio programs at NBC Radio in New York City. He has the slickness of a New York show business professional with all the attendant charm and smarts. He always appears genuine and gracious when dealing with the “talent,” but is all business behind the scenes. Ensemble vocal track.
PAULA – A woman of indiscriminate age, a no-nonsense New Yorker in the heart of the professional radio entertainment capital of the world. Ensemble vocal track.
BETSY – Late teens, an excitable bobby-soxer fan of the Donny Nova Band. She is all smiles and enthusiasm when meeting her favorite band. Her comic sense comes out of her blithe honesty and unabashed love of the music. Ensemble vocal track.

ENSEMBLE:
Includes various SERVICEMEN, CLUB PATRONS, SWING DANCERS, WAIT STAFF, RADIO STAFF, STAGEHANDS, JAZZ MUSICIANS, CLEVELANDERS and NEW YORKERS.

  • Time Period 1940s / WWII
  • Setting Cleveland, Ohio and New York City. Late summer to December, 1945.
  • Features Period Costumes
  • Duration More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Cautions
    • Alcohol

Media

“An open-hearted musical that will have you clapping your hands and clenching your fists, tapping your toes and blinking back tears.” – The New York Times

“A dazzling stand-up-and-cheer new musical!” – The Star Ledger

“A resonant, original musical that dances the delicate balance between nostalgia and disillusion. The show defies you not to be moved by its valiant band of brothers.” – Time Out

Bandstand is an open-hearted musical that will have you clapping your hands and clenching your fists, tapping your toes and blinking back tears.” – New York Times

Videos

  • Bandstand Show Clips

  • Love Will Come and Find Me Again Writers Commentary

  • Right This Way - Writers Commentary

  • Just Like It Was Before - Writers Commentary

Music

Music Samples

Act I

1. “Prologue” – Michael, Donny
1a. “Just Like It Was Before” – Jen Ann, Trio, Donny
1b. “The Pavilion” – Donny, Ensemble
1c. “The V.A. Office” – Donny, Serviceman, Desk Clerks
1d. “Donny’s Room” – Donny, Jean Ann
1e. “Just Like It Was (Finale)” – Donny, Ensemble
1f. “Andre Baruch Underscore” – Orchestra
2. “Donny Novitski” – Donny
2a. “Into the Blue Wisp” – Orchestra
2b. “Tell Me Tonight” – Donny, Jimmy
3. “I Know a Guy” – Donny, Jimmy, Davy, Nick, Wayne, Ensemble
3a. “Ain't We Proud” – Donny Nova Band
3b. “Ain’t We Proud Playoff” – Orchestra
3c. “Julia’s Front Door” – Orchestra
3d. “Proud Riff” – Orchestra
3e. “Mrs. Adams Underscore” – Orchestra
4. “Who I Was” – Julia
5. “Counterpoint/Pie Jesu” – Julia, Ensemble, Donny Nova Band
6. “Just Like It Was Before (Reprise)” – Mrs. Adams, Ensemble, Donny Nova Band
7. “First Steps First” – Julia, Donny, Donny Nova Band
7a. “First Steps Playoff” – Orchestra
7b. “First Steps Reprise” – Julia, Donny, Ensemble
8. “Breathe” – Donny Nova Band, Julia
9. “You Deserve It” – Donny, Julia, Ensemble, Donny Nova Band
9a. “You Deserve It Playoff” – Orchestra
9b. “You Deserve It Reprise” – Wayne, Johnny, Jimmy, Ensemble
9c. “There Is a Train” – Ensemble Men
10. “Who I Was (Reprise)” – Julia
11. “Love Will Come (Preprise)” – Donny, Julia
11a. “Dwight Anson & Jean Ann” –Orchestra
12. “Love Will Come and Find Me Again” – Julia, Donny Nova Band
12a. “And The Winner Is” – Orchestra
12b. “End of Broadcast” – Orchestra
12c. “Dirty Water” – Orchestra
13. “Right This Way” – Donny, Davy, Johnny, Wayne, Jimmy, Nick

Act II

14. “Entr'acte” – Orchestra
15. “Nobody” – Donny, Julia, Mrs. Adams, Ensemble, Donny Nova Band
16. “The Boys Are Back” – Davy, Johnny, Ensemble
[There is no #17]
18. “I Got a Theory” – Donny, Serviceman, Desk Clerks
18a. “I Got a Theory” – Jimmy
18b. “Where’s Julia?” – Orchestra
19. “Everything Happens” – Mrs. Adams
19a. “After Everything Happens” – Mrs. Adams, Nick
20. “Welcome Home (Preprise)” – Donny, Julia
21. “Welcome Home (Romantic)” –Julia, Donny Nova Band
21a. “Off to New York, First Class” – Oliver
22. “Band in New York City” – Davy, Jimmy, Johnny, Nick, Wayne, Julia, Ensemble
22a. “Band in New York City Playoff” – Orchestra
23. “This is Life” – Donny, Julia
23a. “The Chicago Four Play” – Orchestra
24. “Love Will Come Audition” – Julia, Donny Nova Band
24a. “Into the Big Broadcast” – Orchestra
24b. “This is Life (Reprise)” – Donny
24c. “Andre’s Final Intro” - Orchestra
25. “Welcome Home (Finale)” – Julia, Donny Nova Band
25a. “And the Winner Really Is” – Orchestra
25b. “Epilogue” – Full Company
26. “Bows & Exit Music” – Orchestra

  • Musical StyleJazz, Contemporary Broadway
  • Orchestra SizeLarge
  • Chorus SizeLarge

Materials

Music Rentals

Concord offers a full suite of resources to help you put on the show of a lifetime!
1 Piano-Conductor/Keyboard 3
1 Piano-Vocal
15 Vocal Books
1 Reed 1
1 Reed 2
1 Reed 3
1 Trumpet 1
1 Trumpet 2
1 Trombone 1
1 Trombone 2
1 Drums
1 Keyboard 1
1 Keyboard 2
1 Violin
1 Bass
1 Piano-Vocal
15 Vocal Books

Scripts

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Authors

Richard Oberacker

Richard Oberacker is currently conducting Cirque du Soleil’s 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, an ...
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Robert Taylor

Robert Taylor's musicals include Bandstand (Broadway, Paper Mill Playhouse), 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 ...
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