Bandstand: A Salute To The Troops

The musical recently won a Tony award for best choreography. (Photos by Jeremy Daniel)

The best theater productions are the ones that not only entertain us, but give us something to think about, an intangible souvenir we carry in our minds and hearts. Bandstand does just that; the all-American musical represents the best of Broadway, with roaring horns, soaring vocals and electric choreography setting the scene for a poignant tribute to the troops.

The show follows singer and songwriter Donny Novitski, who tries to find his place in the world again after returning home from the war. When NBC announces a national contest searching for music’s next superstars, Novitski assembles a band of fellow veterans, with Julia Trojan, a military widow, helping with vocals. And while on stage, the veterans pour their souls into each note, once the music stops, they each have their inner demons to battle—addictions and neurosis inflicted by their days in battle.

While the show is set post-WWII, its message still rings true today. More than just a show about a music contest, Bandstand is about the emotional toll combat takes on servicemen and women, a burden that is often carried silently and alone.

Excellent performances by the entire cast make the show captivating.

Being able to share the stories of these veterans, many of whom make up the show’s audience every night, is an “incredible responsibility,” said Laura Osnes, who plays Julia Trojan in the show.

“We are very passionate about telling their stories…their stories need to be told,” said Osnes. “I hope people have a new appreciation [for veterans] and that a lot of people have their awareness awakened.”

The musical not only relies on its lyrics and story to convey its message, but Tony-award winning choreography puts a physical form to the emotional battles many veterans face. The show stays so true to the realities of post-war life, that it was the first Broadway show to be certified by the Got Your 6 organization, a recognition given to groups that portray veterans authentically.

Osnes has been with the show since its start at Papermill Playhouse in 2015, and said she fell in love with the show because of the unique role it offered her, as well as because of the important story it tells.

Laura Osnes stars as Julia Trojan. (Photo by Nathan Johnson)

“It’s been a long journey with a lot of unknowns, but…I was very passionate about the story and the people involved,” said Osnes. “I’m just thrilled we finally found a home on Broadway and are able to tell the story to a wider audience and that people are being moved by it. That’s the most rewarding thing.”

While there are many brilliant shows lighting up marquees on the Great White Way, Bandstand stands out not only for the sheer talent of the cast, but for the important story it tells, a message that stays with audiences long after they leave the Bernard J. Jacobs Theatre.

Find out more about Bandstand at www.bandstandbroadway.com.

Betsy Abraham
Betsy Abraham is senior managing editor at Anton Media Group and editor of The Westbury Times and Massapequa Observer. She also writes for Long Island Weekly.

Leave a Reply

Discover

Sponsor

Latest

Old Westbury Gardens Launches Outdoor Walk-through Light Show

Old Westbury Gardens has unveiled a first-of-its kind nighttime light show event. Shimmering Solstice, presented by Catholic Health, offers visitors the opportunity to behold a...

Christmas Masses, Ornament Blessings Returning to Catholic Cemeteries

Catholic Cemeteries of Long Island has announced the return of its annual in-person Christmas Ornament Masses at the Cemetery of the Holy Rood in...

Long Island Marines Celebrate Corps’ Birthday

The Sunrise Detachment Marine Corps League celebrated the 246th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps in grand fashion on Nov. 7. The event...

Calendar of Events From November 26 to December 5

Here is a selection of events happening in the Long Island Weekly coverage area. Friday, November 26 Peter White Christmas At 8 p.m. at the Madison Theater...

Unraveling Current Events With The Drive-By Truckers

If ever there was a musical prism through which the divisive social and political events of the past five years could be viewed from...

Get Updates Via Email

Enter your email to be updated with all the latest news and special announcements.

The musical recently won a Tony award for best choreography. (Photos by Jeremy Daniel)
The best theater productions are the ones that not only entertain us, but give us something to think about, an intangible souvenir we carry in our minds and hearts. Bandstand does just that; the all-American musical represents the best of Broadway, with roaring horns, soaring vocals and electric choreography setting the scene for a poignant tribute to the troops. The show follows singer and songwriter Donny Novitski, who tries to find his place in the world again after returning home from the war. When NBC announces a national contest searching for music’s next superstars, Novitski assembles a band of fellow veterans, with Julia Trojan, a military widow, helping with vocals. And while on stage, the veterans pour their souls into each note, once the music stops, they each have their inner demons to battle—addictions and neurosis inflicted by their days in battle. While the show is set post-WWII, its message still rings true today. More than just a show about a music contest, Bandstand is about the emotional toll combat takes on servicemen and women, a burden that is often carried silently and alone.
Excellent performances by the entire cast make the show captivating.
Being able to share the stories of these veterans, many of whom make up the show’s audience every night, is an “incredible responsibility,” said Laura Osnes, who plays Julia Trojan in the show. “We are very passionate about telling their stories…their stories need to be told,” said Osnes. “I hope people have a new appreciation [for veterans] and that a lot of people have their awareness awakened.” The musical not only relies on its lyrics and story to convey its message, but Tony-award winning choreography puts a physical form to the emotional battles many veterans face. The show stays so true to the realities of post-war life, that it was the first Broadway show to be certified by the Got Your 6 organization, a recognition given to groups that portray veterans authentically. Osnes has been with the show since its start at Papermill Playhouse in 2015, and said she fell in love with the show because of the unique role it offered her, as well as because of the important story it tells.
Laura Osnes stars as Julia Trojan. (Photo by Nathan Johnson)
“It’s been a long journey with a lot of unknowns, but…I was very passionate about the story and the people involved,” said Osnes. “I’m just thrilled we finally found a home on Broadway and are able to tell the story to a wider audience and that people are being moved by it. That’s the most rewarding thing.” While there are many brilliant shows lighting up marquees on the Great White Way, Bandstand stands out not only for the sheer talent of the cast, but for the important story it tells, a message that stays with audiences long after they leave the Bernard J. Jacobs Theatre. Find out more about Bandstand at www.bandstandbroadway.com.
x