Found this cover for Bandstand on Pinterest
Hey y’all!! So today y’all are in for a special treat! Now I know that all my previous posts have been about books but books are not all that I love! I also LOVE MUSICALS!! So today I am going to review a musical that I recently saw and fell in love with, I hope you do too!!
So this musical is called Bandstand and it is one of my new favourite musicals! It is spectacular and so different from any other musical that I have ever seen! It takes place in Cleveland, Ohio 1945 just after WWII. It is about a young guy named Donny Novitski who just returned home from serving three years in the war and he is trying to figure out how to adjust back to “normal” life. He is actually a musical prodigy and is searching for his “big break.” When he hears about a nationwide competition that could give him his “big break” he forms a band made up of WWII veterans and a young widow (Julia Trojan) whose husband was his best friend during the war before he died. As the small swing band struggles to rise to the top, they face challenges that many veterans faced then, and now such as insomnia, PTSD, family tension, grief, addiction, and many more challenges that are not often brought to light. They struggle to find healing, love, fame, and a new life.
WOW!! Doesn’t that just sound amazing! It is such a raw, heartfelt. and hauntingly beautiful musical! The actors in it are just as amazing! Corey Cott plays Donny Noitski and the lovely Laura Osnes plays Julia Trojan. I loved Laura Osnes as Julia! Her voice is just so beautiful and her acting is very convincing and wonderful!!! Corey Cott was also just fantastic!!! His passion was evident on the stage and you could easily tell how much he was IN to his role, like he WAS Donny! It was it was so cool to watch! Also fun fact! When Corey Cott found out he was playing the role of Donny, who was supposed to be a piano player, he literally learned piano in six months! He practiced three hours a day for the role. He said that he, “couldn’t play Donny with integrity without knowing the piano.” So he and the other band members actually ACCOMPANY THE ORCHESTRA ON STAGE!!!! HOW COOL IS THAT!! That like never happens!! I think it just shows how passionate and committed everyone was to sharing this amazing story and putting on a great show!! Everything this cast did in the show was just stellar!
The choreography is also so mesmerizing! It was so much fun since it was set in the 1940’s everything had a swing feel, so swing dancing was a definite part of this choreography. Also if I recall correctly, the choreography was actually put together by the choreographer of Hamilton.
Now the music, OH GOSH I DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW TO DESCRIBE THE MUSIC!!!! It was just hauntingly beautiful! It definitely pulled on the heartstrings and gave me chills many times!! Everything about this musical was so raw and real! Like the song This is Life was so beautiful because it showed that fairy tale endings don’t always happen, at least right away. “These things take time” as they sang, it was such a refreshing song from the unbelievable mushy or fairytale ending type songs that are never achievable in real life! Also my favourite song Welcome Home (Finale) GIVES ME CHILLS!!! It is just absolutely raw and real (I know I’ve said that a lot but IT’S TRUE) it is just a haunting and heartachingly beautiful and tragically wonderful song! It shows all that the men, and even boys, went through after the war. That is rarely, if ever, shown in any entertainment! Usually, when the war or hard times end everything just goes back to normal and everyone is happy and gets a good ending, but that is far from the truth, especially when it comes to war. It shows all the struggles and hopes and fears of the veterans that just leaves me speechless and almost in tears. One of my favorite lines in the song is “knowing full well darling your wars not ended” because it is so true! The war still goes on inside the minds of the men. Such atrocities they carried with them after WWII. And trying to live like nothing ever happened afterward, how is that possible? But still it shows the healing and love that can take place during those times and I just think it is so beautiful! One of the things that helped many heal during that time was, in fact, music, as seen in the show!
The show is also really fun with the swing feel of everything and also quite comical as well!
The message and mission of this show was like nothing I had ever seen, it was just amazing! The whole time the show was on Broadway they had a mission of honoring vets. They let many vets in for free and often honored them at the end of the show by having them coming on stage or standing up in the crowd! I think that is so cool!
One thing I did not like about the show was that there were a few choice words. There were not many, but they were still there, including a couple mentions of the “f” word. Also it was sad to see how the world viewed “healing ” after that type of thing without God, which in reality is the only way we can heal or be redeemed through the love of God!
So all in all this musical was stellar! I was absolutely BLOWN AWAY by how beautiful, raw, real, and spectacular it was! Now I encourage you to GO LISTEN TO THE ALBUM!! Unfortunately, it is not on Broadway anymore! I actually saw it when they showed it in Regal Theaters for two days after recording it while it was still on Broadway. Hopefully, that means they will make it into a DVD then I encourage you to watch it! Just beware of the language!
So I give this musical a full four and a half stars!
If you would like to see my Bandstand section in Pinterest click here!
Have you seen or heard of this musical? If so what did you think? Are you now going to listen to it (YOU SHOULD)? What is one of your favorite musicals? Let me know in the comments!! Also don’t forget to share this post if you liked it!! Thanks for reading friends!