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The Reviews for GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER are In…

Gettin' the Band Back Together

Photo by Jenny Anderson for The New York Times

The reviews for Gettin’ the Band Back Together are in, and the critics aren’t buying producer and co-writer Ken Davenport’s definition of “original.” While the new musical isn’t strictly derived from any particular source material (though it borrows from more movies and musicals than we’ve got space to list here), it also isn’t exactly new- or fresh-feeling (despite the book’s origins with improv comedy collective, The Grundleshotz). But hey, if an epic Battle of the Bands between 40-something rockstar wannabes is the stuff of Broadway legend for you, get your butt to the Belasco. Boy have they got a show for you.

NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER

When a Broadway show needs a pre-show 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… 

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VARIETY REVIEW OF GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER

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…

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HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW OF GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER

Before the curtain goes up on his new musical, producer Ken Davenport bounds onstage and delivers a combination of introduction and pep talk. He tells us that he hopes we’ll have a good time, but more important, he breathlessly informs us that we’re about to see that rarest of events, an “original musical” on Broadway. The warm-up patter seems sincere, if a tad over-the-top. Not to mention a bit desperate (imagine Scott Rudin personally welcoming us to The Iceman Cometh, for example). But mostly it’s inaccurate. True, technically speaking the show isn’t based on a pre-existing movie or literary property. But if there’s one thing Getting’ the Band Back Together isn’t, it’s original. After only a few minutes, you’ll be getting the feeling that you’ve seen it all before…

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TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER

You can smell the flop sweat before Gettin’ the Band Back Together even begins, as Ken Davenport—the show’s lead producer and also, not coincidentally, its principal author—takes the stage with a handheld mic to deliver a curtain speech. “What you’re about to see is one of those rare things on Broadway these days: a totally original musical,” he claims. But although the show is not based on any single preexisting source, it is, in fact, supremely unoriginal, from its formulaic ’90s-movie plot to its instantly forgettable ’80s-rock score. A community-theater vanity production that has somehow surfaced at a Broadway house, it is schlocky at every turn…

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CHICAGO TRIBUNE REVIEW OF HEAD OVER HEELS

The 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…

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