Tony Award-Winning Musical “Bandstand” Swings into Yardley Hall

On Dec. 17, Carlsen Center Presents welcomes the energetic and moving Tony Award®-winning Broadway musical Bandstand to Yardley Hall during its first national tour.

From three-time Tony winner and Hamilton choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler comes a poignant and inspirational new American musical exploding with infectious music and high-octane dancing. Tickets are available at jccc.edu/CarlsenCenter or by phone at 913-469-4445.

Music Makes the Impossible, Possible

Bandstand takes place in 1945. Six soldiers have returned from war to the life they left years before. But they’ve changed, and home no longer feels like home.

When NBC announces a competition to find the nation’s next great musical superstars, they form a band unlike any the country has ever seen. Along the way, they discover the power of music to give them a voice and a place they can finally call home.

The musical’s swing and Big Band score showcases the exuberance of a nation triumphant in war. The dance numbers are a marvel to watch as pairs flip and twirl across the stage. All of that euphoria is balanced against a backdrop of the personal stories of six men and a woman forever changed by their experiences with war.

Original Broadway producers Tom Smedes, Gabrielle Palitz and Terry Schnuck note that Bandstand represents the core values of our nation and the people who have served. After seeing the impact this inspirational story of veterans has had on Broadway audiences, the producers are thrilled that Work Light Productions is taking Bandstand across the country.

A Tribute to Veterans

While exciting and celebratory, Bandstand explores the somber side of veterans returning from war and their struggles to reacclimate. Just as music gives Bandstand’s veteran singing group purpose and healing, today’s veterans often find music to be the soothing balm for their restless soul.

Kena Zumalt, Program Director for Veteran and Military Student Services at JCCC, says, “Music lifts our spirits and cuts across generations. It’s been a healing force for many veterans. I think Bandstand will be a draw for the community while encouraging them to think about how to pay it forward for those who’ve served.”

Even though Bandstand focuses on veterans returning from World War II, Carlsen Center General Manager Emily Behrmann says, “Our vets returning home today experience the same kinds of challenges reconnecting to their old lives. Those important stories still need to be told.”

Pay it Forward

In conjunction with Bandstand, JCCC Foundation announces its new Pay It Forward Student Veteran Scholarship and encourages donors to recognize a family member or loved one. Donors of at least $500 will be invited to special receptions throughout the year where they can meet veteran scholarship recipients at JCCC.

“We love the idea of older veterans and their families talking with young veterans,” says Judi Reilly, JCCC Foundation Program Director of Development. The Foundation hopes to award up to 10 scholarships to student veterans during the first year of the scholarship. If you’re interested in donating to the Pay It Forward Student Veteran Scholarship, contact the JCCC Foundation at 913-469-3835 or email Foundation.dept@jccc.edu.

Carlsen Center Presents has an amazing lineup for the 2019-20 season. Tickets are still available at jccc.edu/CarlsenCenter or by calling 913-469-4445.

–By Susan Tolleson, Johnson County Community College Writer

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