I am very lucky that growing up my parents always made a point to take me to the theater. So when the chance to review Paper Mill Playhouses newest premier The Bandstand came my way I knew I wanted to go with my Dad.
Paper Mill is a wonderful not for profit theater. I was even a volunteer when I first moved to NJ. Since it’s in our neighbor town of Millburn. It’s a quick drive to see high quality entertainment, with tons of Broadway veterans and a dynamic season with both new and classic shows. Their 2015-2016 line-up this year is pretty spectacular and they kicked it off with The Bandstand.
I walked into the theater not knowing a lot about the show, except that it was a “Heroic Story of Love” and it contained big band and swing style original music. I figured it would be a love story, but was surprised at the different aspects of love I saw. Through the creative choreography and direction of Andy Blankenbuehler both my Dad and I was mesmerized by the music, story and dancing.
The dancing was the perfect combination of swing and modern giving it a fresh take and the ensemble weaved and worked their way through the 2 1/2 hours to move the story along effortlessly. I honestly didn’t look at my program once. I was invested in these characters, their stories and the time period. This story is real, emotional and relevant to both today and years ago. Disclaimer: Contains strong language and adult themes. Recommended for ages 13 and up.
These actors not only had to be triple threats (singer, actor & dancer) but 6 of them also played instruments to form the band of mismatched WWII veterans. Laura Osnes and Corey Cott were perfectly paired and Beth Leavel added the right amount of comedy to make this show soar.
My Dad just kept telling me, “This is a really good show” which is saying a lot and I left singing the songs and wanting to learn even more about the era. When you leave the theater wanting to talk and think then it’s a good night.
Theater should make you ask questions, and bring different generations together. I left being grateful for many things and felt I had a perfect date with my Dad and I can’t wait to check out the remainder of the season to bring more family and friends to shows. The Bandstand is currently running at Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ till November 8th and you will leave with a smile in your heart.
Also, make sure you check out the bar. They do special drinks for each show and because I ordered mine to be ready at intermission I saved $1 and didn’t wait in line. Talk about convenient and tasty, the All-American was so good!
But wait, it gets better, I’ve got 2 tickets to Giveaway to one local reader for The Bandstand! So make sure you enter now because this giveaway ends Tuesday, October 20th at 10pm EST.
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Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.