Musical ‘The Bandstand’ Tunes Up for Broadway in 2016-17

Bandstand musical Broadway
Jerry Dalia

The Bandstand,” the new musical currently wrapping up a tryout run at the Paper Mill Playhouse, has set its sights on Broadway, with producers announcing a plan to bring the show into New York sometime during the 2016-17 season.

The stars of the premiere production (pictured above) at the Paper Mill in Millburn, N.J., Laura Osnes and Corey Cott, will move to Broadway with the show, which is directed and choreographed by “Hamilton” choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler. Osnes was nominated for a Tony for her turn in the title role of the the 2013 staging of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella,” while Cott was on Broadway last season in “Gigi.”

With music by Richard Oberacker, currently the conductor of Cirque du Soleil’s “Ka” in Vegas, and book and lyrics by Oberacker and Robert Taylor, the original storyline of “The Bandstand” centers on musician Donny (Cott) who, in 1945, corrals a ragtag band of WWII veterans into a national swing-band competition. Osnes appears as Julia, a singer he meets along the way.

No exact dates, theater or casting for the Broadway transfer of the musical have yet been set. The team of producers is led by Tom Smedes, Gabrielle Palitz, Terry Schnuck and Tom Kirdahy.

“The Bandstand” wraps up its Paper Mill run Nov. 8. By aiming for the 2016-17 season, the musical avoids a crowded season that already seems to have a presumptive champion in “Hamilton.”

Another musical up at bat at the Paper Mill this season, “A Bronx Tale,” also seems a potential candidate for a commerical transfer. That one, co-directed by Robert DeNiro and Jerry Zaks with music by Alan Menken, runs Feb. 4-March 6.

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