The Tony Award-winning director of 'Urinetown' returns to Broadway with this new musical comedy, the story of a laid off 40-year-old who finds that the only hope for his future lies in revisiting his rock and roll past. More…
Mitch Papadopolous always dreamed about being the next Bon Jovi, but he chose security over stardom and left those daydreams behind for a day job. For a while he thought he had everything – the high paying job, the high-rise apartment – until his 40th birthday when he got handed a pink slip and had to move back in with his Mom in Sayreville, New Jersey.
And when his high school arch nemesis (with a 20-year-old grudge and a tangerine spray tan) threatens to foreclose on their house, this big-shot banker must save his small-town home the only way he can…by winning The Battle of the Bands.
So he dusts off his guitar, gathers his old gang (the math teacher who isn’t good at math, the Irish cop who dreams about being on Broadway, the dermatologist who can’t get a date, and a 16-year-old Jewish rapper who makes Vanilla Ice look cool), and sets out to win the battle…and maybe even win back the high school sweetheart he left behind…proving it’s never too late to give your dreams one last shot.
"Feels like the tackiest show on Broadway, an impression advanced by its lazy plot, uninspired garage rock score, dopey jokes, and clichéd characters. Yet, for all its obvious mediocrity...‘Gettin’ The Band’ is kind of fun. What makes it so are the performers...Could have been a more sophisticated comedy...but the show itself is too deliberately childish to try for anything more profound than a knowing wink at its own silliness.” Full Review
"The arc of both its primary storyline (see the title) and its many subplots are so grindingly predictable that the whole show might have been assembled by a pop culture algorithm tuned to maximize sentimentality. Although the show has an appealing modesty and goofy humor, fresh it certainly is not...The musical is not without its splashes of ribald or bleakly funny humor. And the performers give appealingly smooth grease to the mechanical proceedings." Full Review
“Getting to the final moment has its ups and downs...The story remains generic for the most part, but the occasional funny line does leap out, and the entire caboodle is made more than palatable by the cast - and by director Rando, who’s never short of ideas for keeping the energy flowing...Mark Allen supplies the score, and though he conjures blasts of rock that frequently sound the same, he definitely does come up with one creative number. " Full Review
"The first act spends a lot of time on exposition with most of the big production numbers filling the much livelier second act. I’m not a good judge of rock music, but I found the score by Mark Allen uninspired. Chris Bailey’s choreography catches fire in the second act...The cast is uniformly enthusiastic. Brandon Williams steals every scene he is in." Full Review
"At times it feels like you're at 'School of Rock,' although no one's a kid anymore, but the show actually lands closer to a low-rent version of 'The Full Monty' crossed with 'Rock of Ages' and transplanted to New Jersey...This isn't a show that worries at all about internal logic or credibility or diversity; it's an ode of lamentation to lost youth, a theme as old as Broadway itself. No crime there and some discount ticketbuyers will have fun. There even are a few touching moments." Full Review
"The playful musical is more infectious than you might expect. Be warned, though: Enjoyment of 'Gettin’ The Band Back Together' will be in direct proportion to a tolerance for not-so-young guys making guitar faces and devil horn hand gestures for two and a half hours...Davenport’s book lets few jokes go unrepeated...And given the musical’s two-or-three year gestation period, director Rando had plenty of time to trim the repetitions." Full Review
“Standard-sounding pop melodies and rocker licks, occasionally peppered with a funny rhyme or an amusing idea...while Gettin' the Band Back Together' isn't exactly a classic on paper, on stage it's directed by musical comedy master John Rando...And never underestimate the power of a charismatic cast when each and every one looks like they're having a ball...But the more inspired moments are outnumbered by limp one-liners." Full Review
"Technically speaking the show isn't based on a pre-existing movie or literary property. But if there's one thing 'Gettin' the Band Back Together' isn't, it's original...To say that the humor is unsophisticated is an understatement...But some of the comic bits, both physical and verbal, are very amusing. You may find yourself laughing a lot, although you won't be proud of it afterwards...The score is strictly generic pop-rock but bouncy enough." Full Review
"'Gettin' the Band Together’ feels remarkably unoriginal...A lot of the people...Bought into the shticky jokes, gimmicky audience participation, and predictable plot — for which credit is owed to the hard-working and able cast... and Bailey's super energetic choreography. And while Allen's music and lyrics are more ear blasting than ear hugging, they do fit the overall mood." Full Review
"To its credit, 'Gettin’ the Band Back Together' explores with far less smug condescension the themes of the current Broadway play 'Straight White Men,' which would be a much better title for this musical...The song titled 'Bart’s Confession' and delivered with real gusto by Klaitz, almost makes you forget the previous dozen songs by Mark Allen that too accurately capture the homogeneous anonymity of garage bands, lounge acts, and wedding singers." Full Review
"What it’s doing on Broadway is hard to figure, but the members of the cast of 'Gettin’ the Band Back Together' are so amiable that it’s not too unpleasant—up to a point—to spend an evening watching them tell corny jokes and sing Mark Allen’s lame but innocuous songs...While I certainly don’t recommend that you spend your own money on 'Gettin’ the Band Back Together,' it won’t kill you should you be forced to see it on somebody else’s dime." Full Review
"It has a charm. But not two and a half hours of charm. If you’re from New Jersey, you might like it. Certainly the audience I sat among loved every specific reference...This is a show, directed with a loopy Labrador’s energy by John Rando, that sells itself shamelessly to its intended audience...It’s the kind of musical, where the woman are restricted to being adjuncts and foils for the men, and all underwritten stereotypes too just for good measure." Full Review
"The show is a willfully silly piece of cheese, but that stuff is actually hard to pull off — and 'Gettin’ the Band Back Together' is no 'Head Over Heels' or 'Rock of Ages'...The book...takes us through a seemingly endless series of sentimental plot points, cliches, and groan-inducing jokes...Thank God, then, for Tygen, a hilariously preening villain sporting highlights and a sycophantic entourage...You’ll be grateful every time he struts back in sight." Full Review
“The plot is sophomoric and unrealistic. Which is kind of what you’d expect when you have a show written by committee...Absolutely anybody, including the proverbial monkey with a typewriter, could have written this story...The cast are all seasoned pros...and do a good job of looking like they’re having fun up on stage...As much as I scratch my head over it, the audience I saw it with seemed to love it and gave it a standing ovation. Oy.” Full Review
"A show that doesn’t lack for amiability, but which is too often bland, has some jokes that don’t land, and boasts a rap version of 'Hava Nagila' that is possibly the worst number ever on a Broadway stage. Act Two becomes more aggressively silly and therefore more enjoyable...But generally, this show belongs in certain parts of New Jersey. At least I got some Rice Krispies treats from Marilu Henner when she came down the aisle to hand them out during intermission." Full Review
"One of the least original works I’ve encountered...But what 'Gettin’ The Band Back Together' misses out on in terms of inventiveness, it begins to make up with John Rando’s more-than-proficient, often clever direction and the cast’s high-octane commitment to energizing, if not fully fleshing out, the cardboard cutout characters...The book veers between very silly and very lame...Tries its best to take us back to the good old days. If only it felt a little less old and a little more good." Full Review
“A lot of the right components are there, but ultimately ‘Getting the Band’ can’t escape a basic lack of purpose and emotional investment at its core...The score is passable with...one or two stand-outs...Moments of comedy, a talented cast, and occasional high points...will doubtless satisfy the desire for a moderately entertaining Broadway musical for some, but its lack of vital specificity and sense of real importance exposes a missed opportunity for a more truly nourishing new work.” Full Review
"It’s harmless and could be fun, but the book needs an infusion of sharp wit and better plot lines. To be fair, the show does improve in the second act, and by the end, audience members were clearly enjoying themselves. It just takes a long time to get there. The characters and the story are contrived. What are supposed to be really funny ideas just aren’t, but the songs are actually enjoyable...This could have been a really fun night. But...needs some serious fine tuning." Full Review
See it if you're from New Jersey (maybe?) If you can get a discount ticket. To get a rice krispie treat from Marilu Henner at intermission.
Don't see it if you want to see a show with substance. I wish the cast had better material to work with.
See it if You like stories about garage rock bands. You relate to suburban New Jersey types. You want to see Marilu Henner rock it at age 60-whatever.
Don't see it if You want a better story. You aren't willing to sit through a boring first act to get to a second act that pays off, sort of.
See it if you want to support original musicals and you enjoy musicals for the entertainment value
Don't see it if everything needs to be wrapped up with a bow around it, just sit back and enjoy the show, even with the flaws
See it if you enjoy original musicals with a lot of jokes that require very little thought to enjoy.
Don't see it if you are not interested in sex jokes and want a bit more substance with your theater experience
See it if This is a good regional production, not a broadway one. It is dated, predictable . It reminded me of rock of ages in the beginning.
Don't see it if While it has good direction, this show gets lost.
See it if You have strong feelings about New Jersey. You’re looking to support original musicals not based on source material. You like improv.
Don't see it if You’re looking for profound revelations or memorable music. You’re tired of stock characters.
See it if you want an old-fashioned story-type show with enthusiastic cast, a few production numbers & reassuring ending, nothing offensive
Don't see it if you want something new, clever, memorable, don't like cliches, bad jokes, stock characters, mediocre dancing, predictable plot
See it if You are over 40, get cheap tix, and want to see something very light and fun. This show embraces its ample supply of cliche and corniness.
Don't see it if You want a Broadway-quality show or you can't stand silliness.
See it if you don't mind seeing a musical with a simple plot that gets all wrapped up in a bow at the end... just like a sitcom from the 80's.
Don't see it if you are not interested in characters that clichés, sophomoric sex jokes and a bit a substance with your theater viewing.
See it if you love a fluffy show with very literal songs and lots of shots at New Jersey
Don't see it if you're looking for a high quality show - this is a small little show with some funny moments but it will not stay with you. The book it weak
See it if you want to see an energetic cast with some talent give their all with material that is occasionally funny.
Don't see it if you expect something that is original or clever. The cast deserved better!
Also This would be better suited to an Off-Broadway house.
See it if You like standard sitcom writing & caricature-y characters. You're a fan of Wedding Singer or Honeymoon in Vegas. You love laughing at NJ.
Don't see it if You're looking for anything clever, inventive or top-shelf Rando. You want a strong book, songs or staging.
See it if you can appreciate the entertainment value of a game ensemble making the most of a cliched and forgettable musical about garage bands.
Don't see it if you're looking for original themes, a rock-solid plot, or characters and relationships that go beyond caricature.
See it if you are hungry for an original musical; love Marilu Henner, & enjoy contrived attempts to whip the audience into a frenzy to no end.
Don't see it if You enjoy logical plots, sublime acting, innovative choreography, smart lyrics or interesting music- none of which are on display here
See it if You enjoy some catchy songs and performers who give it their all. Lead actor, his mom & his long-lost girlfriend are highlights here.
Don't see it if Some cringeworthy lyrics, show moves extremely slowly, many lame jokes that fail to land. Way too long at 2 hours 35 minutes.
See it if you'd appreciate a story about Jersey or are looking for a succession of cheap laughs.
Don't see it if you cringe at stereotypes, repetitive music, and underdeveloped female characters only introduced to inevitably pair off with the men.
See it if You get free/discounted tickets, you are from Middlesex, Monmouth, Mercer or Somerset county in NJ, you have 2.5 hours to kill with tourists
Don't see it if You can get into School of Rock.
Also Marilu Henner was delightful!
See it if You want a few good laughs in an otherwise trite, predictable story.
Don't see it if You are looking for anything resembling well written comedy. This is simply so so bathromm humor. Or you are a Marilu Henner fan.
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