GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER at George Street Playhouse, NJ from 9/24-10/27/13
by manu narayan
I am having a blast in rehearsals for Ken Davenport’s new musical Gettin’ The Band Back Together (previously known as Garage Band: the musical) at George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, NJ. Performances run September 24th – October 27th, 2013. Opening night is scheduled for October 4th at 8PM.
This original Mike Myers/Will Farrell style ensemble musical is about four high school friends from a small town in New Jersey, who, while grappling with turning 40, reunite their hometown garage band to reclaim their dreams and finally triumph over their high school nemesis.
The cast is incredibly talented with the resumes that speak to their superb singing, acting, dancing and instrumental skills. The rehearsal room is a constant source of fun as we are having a ball collaborating with the creative team here in New Brunswick, NJ. I am hopeful that this funny, poignant musical will be a hit here and later up the New Jersey transit lines to Manhattan. You definitely will be humming the tunes back home from the theatre.
I won’t give away too much, but our re-formed band of heroes are called “Juggernaut.” It consists of four high school classmates: I play Robbie, the dermatologist on keyboards; my fellow Carnegie Mellon alumnus Mitchell Jarvis (Rock of Ages) is Mitch the investment banker and lead singer; Jay Klaitz (High Fidelity) is Bart, the high school math teacher on Bass; Adam Monley (Mamma Mia!) is Sulley, the hometown cop on drums, as the reuniting band mates. Newcomer to the band is Evan Daves (The Coast of Utopia) on guitar. The cast also features two-time Tony nominee Alison Fraser (GSP’s Lend Me a Tenor, Gypsy on Broadway) as Sharon, Mitch’s mom, and another fellow Carnegie Mellon alumnus and classmate of mine Brandon Williams (TV’s “Entourage,” “Stay at Home Dad”) as Tygen, the band’s high school arch-nemesis. The company is rounded out by Heather Brave (Circle of Friends) as Billie , Michelle Duffy (Leap of Faith) as Dani, Ryan Duncan (Soul Doctor) as Dr. Patel, Sr., Deidre Goodwin (A Chorus Line) as Officer Roxy, Christopher Gurr (Memphis national tour) as Sargent Sullivan & JP, Garth Kravits (The Drowsy Chaperone) as Ritchie, Emily McNamara (NEWSical the Musical) as Tawney, and Tad Wilson (Wonderland) as the Mayor.
Tony Award-winner John Rando (Urinetown, GSP’s Toxic Avenger) is director of Gettin’ The Band Back Together which is written by Ken Davenport and The Grundelshotz, with additional material by Sarah Saltzberg, and music and lyrics by Mark Allen. Fred Hartenstein is Stage Manager.
Orchestrations are by Doug Katsaros, Fred Lassen serves as musical director, Kelly Devine is choreographer. Creating the world of the play are scenic designer Derek McLane, lighting designer Ken Billington, costume designer Gregory Gale and sound designer Peter Fitzgerald.
George Street Playhouse is run by Artistic Director David Saint. It was founded in 1974 by former Rutgers faculty member Eric Krebs.
A 2 for 1 ticket deal is available using the code “Bombay” which harkens back to my Broadway debut as the lead in AR Rahman’s Bombay Dreams.
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