Gettin’ The Band Back Together BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Joan Marcus
  • VARIETY

  • DEADLINE

  • EW

  • CHIC TRIB

Opening Night:
August 13, 2018
Closing:
Open Ended

Theater: Belasco Theatre / 111 West 44th Street, New York, NY, 10036

Synopsis: 

The Tony Award®-winning director of Urinetown returns to Broadway with Gettin’ The Band Back Together, a hilarious new musical comedy that The New York Times calls, “A feel-good class act! A playful, irreverent, and genuinely funny musical.”

He always wanted to be the next Bruce Springsteen, but Mitch Papadopoulos (Mitchell Jarvis, Rock of Ages) left those daydreams behind for a day job. When this big-shot banker is handed a pink slip on his 40th birthday, he’s forced to move back in with his mom (five-time Golden Globe® nominee Marilu Henner, “Taxi”) in New Jersey.

A run-in with his former music rival leads to a threat of foreclosure on Mitch’s family home, unless he can win The Battle of the Bands—a rematch over 25 years in the making. So he dusts off his guitar, gathers his old gang, and sets out to win back his house, his pride—and maybe even the high school sweetheart he left behind—proving it’s never too late to give your dreams one last shot.

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  • NY TIMES REVIEW OF Gettin’ The Band Back Together

    Familiar Rock Dreams in ‘Gettin’ the Band Back Together’

    Jesse Green

    August 13, 2018: When a Broadway show needs a preshow warm-up, what follows is likely half-baked. At least that’s the case with “Gettin’ the Band Back Together,” the empty-headed entertainment that opened on Monday at the Belasco Theater. In a scripted welcome before the curtain, Ken Davenport, the lead producer and a co-author of the book, delivers a supercharged spiel that bodes ill — and begins with a whopper. “What you’re about to see is one of those rare things on Broadway these days,” he says. “A totally original musical.” To the extent that “Gettin’ the Band Back Together” is not based on a specific pre-existing property, he’s technically right. But originality isn’t novelty, and the show is such a calculated rehash of a million tired tropes that it can best be described with Broadway math: “School of Rock” plus “The Full Monty” divided by “The Wedding Singer” — and multiplied by zero. Like “The Full Monty,” it concerns a bunch of middle-aged men trying to revive their flagging spirits by putting on a show. In this case, the men are former members of a garage band called Juggernaut, whose high school dreams of rock superstardom have dissolved into careerism and slackerdom.

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  • VARIETY REVIEW OF Gettin’ The Band Back Together

    This endearing garage-band musical plays to the fantasies of every kid from New Jersey who dreamed of becoming the next Bon Jovi.

    Marilyn Stasio

    August 13, 2018: Producer Ken Davenport has racked up an impressive collection of Tony Award nominations (and a couple of wins) for shows like “Once on This Island,” “Kinky Boots,” and “Spring Awakening.” But co-writing the book (with improv comedy group the Grundleshotz) for “Gettin’ the Band Back Together,” a musical about a 40-year-old Jersey boy who realizes his dream of starting a rock ‘n’ roll band, was surely a singular labor of love. At a recent preview, Davenport actually got up on stage before the show to tell us so, getting a big laugh by sharing the information that his Barry Manilow high-school tribute band called itself “The Barely Manilows.” The writer-producer’s affection comes through in the show, which opens, appropriately enough, with a song called “Jersey.” “Perfect beaches and snow-capped hills / It’s like New York but you can pay your bills,” sing the hard-working chorus boys and girls, amusingly clad in Emily Rebholz’s short, tight, tongue-in-seam costumes. Mark Allen, who wrote the utilitarian music, also penned the punchier lyrics, in which “Jersey” rhymes wittily with “mercy.”

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  • DEADLINE REVIEW OF Gettin’ The Band Back Together

    Broadway’s ‘Gettin’ The Band Back Together’ Cranks Up Jukebox Hero Pipe Dreams: Review

    Greg Evans

    August 13, 2018: 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. The rock musical, which opens tonight at the Belasco Theatre, is an intentionally over-the-top tale in which newly jobless 40-year-old Manhattan stockbroker Mitch Papadopoulos (Mitchell Jarvas) moves back in with his New Jersey mom (Marilu Henner), meets up with old high school buddies, reunites with the girl who got away and, of course, lives out the musical’s title to win a local Battle of the Bands. Various homes are at stake, old grudges reactivated, personal futures endangered and marriages (or prospects thereof) placed at risk.

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  • ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY REVIEW OF Gettin’ The Band Back Together

    Gettin' the Band Back Together is a light, Jersey-fied new musical: EW review

    Jessica Derschowitz

    August 13, 2018: WE GAVE IT A B- The new Broadway musical Gettin’ the Band Back Together would very much like you to know that it’s an original show. Producer Ken Davenport made a point to remind the audience of this fact at a preview performance I attended Friday night. At a time when Broadway marquees can resemble your streaming queue (Pretty Woman, Mean Girls, Frozen, School of Rock—shall I go on?) or pop playlist (Head Over Heels, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, The Cher Show—shall I go on?), it’s certainly worth noting that this new musical comedy opening at the Belasco Theatre is an original work. Yet for all the emphasis on that “O” word, Gettin’ The Band Back Together is not particularly original — but it’s a song that’s fun to listen to, even if it sounds like ones you’ve heard before.

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  • CHICAGO TRIBUNE REVIEW OF Gettin’ The Band Back Together

    'Gettin’ the Band Back Together' on Broadway is simply head-banger nostalgia

    Chris Jones

    August 13, 2018: he last time I saw a bona fide warm-up comedy act at a musical was back in the 1990s at the Royal Palm Dinner Theatre in Palm Beach, Fla. (“Are you ready for ‘La Cage Aux Folles'? Did you hear the one about the rabbi?") But there was Ken Davenport, the famously populist Broadway producer and book writer of "Gettin' The Band Back Together," working the Friday night crowd at the Belasco Theatre on Broadway with his hand-held mic, telling jokes, promising a blast, trying to find a middle-aged dude in the audience who did, in fact, once have a band that he dreams of gettin' back together. He found one. Middle-aged dudes being disappointingly predictable in their fantasies.

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