Broadway's Bandstand celebrated Spirit of '45 Day on August 11 in their home at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. The company honored Purple Heart recipient Luke Gasparre and America's "longest working Rosie the Riveter," Elinor Otto. After the performance, they were welcomed to the stage by star Corey Cott for a special salute and bow.
Directed by Andy Blankenbuehler, who took home this year's Best Choreography Tony Award, Bandstand features music by Richard Oberacker and a book and lyrics by Robert Taylor and Oberacker. The cast is led Cott and Tony Award nominee Laura Osnes alongside Tony Award winner Beth Leavel, Joe Carroll, Brandon J. Ellis, James Nathan Hopkins, Geoff Packard, and Joey Pero.
Set in the smoke-filled, swing-fueled nightclubs of 1945, the musical tells the against-all-odds story of singer and songwriter Donny Novitski (Cott) and his band of mismatched fellow World War II veterans. When a national radio contest to find America's next big swing band offers a chance at instant fame and Hollywood fortune, Donny must whip his wisecracking gang of jazzers into fighting shape. Teaming up with the beautiful young war widow Julia (Osnes) as their singer, they struggle to confront the lingering effects and secrets of the battlefield that threaten to tear them apart.
Spirit of '45 Day is observed on the second weekend in August, coinciding with the anniversary of August 14, 1945, the surrender of the Japanese army and the end of World War II.
Bandstand runs through September 17.