New in 2018 After losing his job on Wall Street, 40-year-old Mitch Shapiro reconnects with his high school friends, putting their old band back together and entering a high-stakes Battle of the Bands.
From the producers: Mitch Papadopolous always dreamed of being the next Bruce Springsteen, 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 of 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.
Originally titled "Garage Band," "Gettin' the Band Back Together" was developed through a four-year improvisational rehearsal process by author Ken Davenport and performance group The Grundleshotz. A previous version of the musical premiered at the George Street Playhouse in 2013.
The Grundleshotz are comprised of Sebastian Arcelus, Fred Berman, Michael Hirstreet, Jenna Coker Jones, Craig Jorczak, Nathan Kaufman, Jay Klaitz, Emily McNamara, Jennifer Miller, Bhavesh Patel, Sarah Saltzberg and Fletcher Young. The cast includes Jay Klaitz ("Lend Me a Tenor," "High Fidelity"), Paul Whitty ("Once," "The Full Monty"), Sawyer Nunes ("Matilda," "Finding Neverland") and five-time Golden Globe nominee Marilu Henner (TV's "Taxi," "The Tale of the Allergist Wife," "Chicago"). Tony Award winner John Rando ("On the Town," "Urinetown") directs.
To say that the humor is unsophisticated is an understatement. The jokes are frequently hoary and running gags get tired awfully fast. But some of the comic bits are very amusing. The performers are often genuinely funny. The thinness of the sketch-like proceedings does, however, beg the question of why anyone thought the show needed to be an overlong two-and-a-half hours. The score is strictly generic pop-rock but bouncy enough. Director Rando keeps things moving at a sufficiently brisk pace.
Not particularly original - but it's a song that's fun to listen to, even if it sounds like ones you've heard before...Everything that follows is about what you'd expect...a love-triangle plot doesn't play as believable...the paper-thin plot doesn't leave much else up for debate. Even if the route is obvious, "Gettin' the Band Back Together" is not a bad ride...while none of the musical's songs are bound for a greatest hits compilation, they fit the upbeat, rocking vibe the show is going for.