New Work
Writers: Richard Oberacker Robert Taylor


Show Information

Number of Acts
First Produced
Drama, Comedy, Romance
Period, Multiple Settings
Time & Place
Cleveland, New York, 1945
Cast Size
Orchestra Size
Some Dance
Ideal for
College/University, Ensemble Cast, Large Cast, Professional Theatre, Regional Theatre, Star Vehicle Female, Star Vehicle Male
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes young adult, adult, mature adult, late teen characters


It is 1945, World War Two has ended and America’s soldiers return home to a grand welcome. But what happens after that is a trickier field to navigate. Private Donny Novitski returns home, burdened with the grief and guilt of losing his best friend, Michael. He is determined to rebuild his life and pick up his music career where he left off. However, after several years away, he has been replaced by younger men playing piano in Cleveland’s hottest clubs. When NBC announces a national competition to find the next best swing band, Donny quickly hatches a plan. He recruits a group of musical veterans—each wrestling their own demons—and they form a swing band the like of which America has never seen. They are soon joined by Julia Trojan, Michael’s widow and a talented singer. She, too, is wrestling with her grief, but she and Donny soon form a talented song writing duo. The group wins the Ohio state contest, but they are flabbergasted when they realize the competition is a marketing scheme for an aspirin company and there is no financial reimbursement. Forced to travel to New York under their own steam, the band becomes determined to prove a point and make a name for themselves in the Big Apple. At the live radio broadcast, the band decide to stay true to their own story as struggling veterans and, while they do not win the contest, they find success comes in other forms.

Lead Characters

Bandstand guide sections