Does growing up mean you have to stop doing the things that make you happy? Are there no happy moments to be found while “adult-ing”? Everyone remembers the things they loved to do when they were young, had no real responsibilities and lots of time to pursue whatever floated their boats, right? But are those pursuits able to translate into a career? What are the sacrifices one should and shouldn’t have to make when becoming an adult? These questions are at the heart of the show Gettin’ the Band Back Together.
At the start of the show Mitch, our hero, gets fired from a soul sucking job (that he hated) and is forced to return home to NJ. Once home, Mitch meets up with his Mom (played by Marilu Henner), best friend, ex-girlfriend and his nemesis (because their has to be a nemesis!). After a run in with his nemesis and to save his mother’s house, Mitch is forced to gather his old band buddies once again for the annual battle of the bands.
Yes, the story is a bit contrived, from the faux Joe Perry to the gifted high school guitar player in “detention” serving his time with the band. But there are tender moments too, like when Mitch and ex-girlfriend Dani reminisce about their high school romance in “Best Day of My Life”.
The number one reason to see this show: IT IS FUNNY! Seriously funny, like funniest show on Broadway since Book of Mormon. There was laughter in the audience from the opening song celebrating/making fun of “Jersey” to the curtain call. I was especially in tears laughing during the dance off scene. The book was written by the Grundelshotz – a group of improve actors, many of whom appear on stage in this production.
This show is one of the few completely original shows to come to Broadway in recent years. It’s not based on a movie, play, book or TV show. You have to appreciate the uniqueness of the undertaking. There are some points that felt a little less than professional, but I suppose that can’t be helped in a story about a garage band. And as I saw the show while in previews, there may be changes before opening night. I can see small tweaks that would make a big impact on the final result.
Still, the show has merit. If you want to see a classic, sophisticated, completely put together Broadway show, this is NOT the one for you. BUT, if you want/need a good laugh, go see this show. If you were ever in a garage band, this is right up your alley! If you are from NJ, you will enjoy an evening in this audience. If you want to see something completely original, you have to check this one out! If any of these sounds like you, Grab Your Group and GO SEE Gettin the Band Back Together!