Broadway.com is going on a cross-country road trip to bring you the best regional theater offerings in all 50 states. This week, a new musical zaps us into an ‘80s time warp, the legendary Marx Brothers make ‘em laugh in Baltimore and a high school outcast asks the age-old question: “What’s your damage, Heather?” Read below for our picks in this week’s Countrywide Guide.
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ
MITCHELL JARVIS & ALISON FRASER ROCK OUT
Slip on your stonewashed jeans and head to the George Street Playhouse, where the new musical Gettin’ the Band Back Together is bringing back the ‘80s in full force. Featuring music and lyrics by Mark Allen, and a book by Ken Davenport and the Grundleshotz, this high-octane tuner stars Rock of Ages funnyman Mitchell Jarvis and Tony nominee Alison Fraser in the story of a 40-year-old dude who moves back in with Mom in New Jersey to pursue his dreams of being a rock star. Catch the ‘80s extravaganza through October 27.
JEFF DANIELS PUTS IT IN WRITING
You’ve seen him break scoops in HBO's The Newsroom—now see 2013 Emmy winner Jeff Daniels’ take on fatherhood in a 20th anniversary production of his dark comedy The Vast Difference at Purple Rose Theatre, the Michigan company he founded. The 1993 play, which put Daniels on the map as a writer, tells the story of flight attendant George Newman, a father with five daughters who is about to undergo a vasectomy. See the revival, featuring a cast of local actors, at the intimate theater through December 14.
THE PUMP BOYS ARE AT YOUR SERVICE
We were more than a little disappointed when the planned Broadway revival of Pump Boys and Dinettes was scrapped last spring. But upstate in Rochester, a new interactive production of the 1982 musical is playing at the Geva Theatre Center through October 13, featuring Broadway alum Farah Alvin and off-Broadway vets Johnny Kinnaird and Erin Maguire accompanying themselves on the fiddle, banjo, harmonica and more. Head to the Double Cupp Diner for an evening of down-home music and fun!
LOS ANGELES, CA
MEET THE ORIGINAL MEAN GIRLS
Teen angst reaches new heights in the catty new musical Heathers, based on the ‘80s black comedy about Heather, Heather and Heather. Oh, and Veronica. Featuring a talented young cast including Barrett Wilbert Weed (Bare) and Elle McLemore (Bring It On), the show, a collaboration between Legally Blonde composer Laurence O'Keefe and Reefer Madness author Kevin Murphy, has been extended through October 13 at the Hudson Backstage Theatre. Prepare to go to prom…or hell.
THE MARX BROTHERS TAKE CENTER STAGE
Take a trip back to the golden age of comedy at Center Stage, where the 1928 Broadway musical comedy Animal Crackers is being revived in full Marx Brothers style, featuring Brad Aldous, Jonathan Brody, Bruce Randolph Nelson and Sean Montgomery as the hilarious foursome. The zany new revival, featuring catchy tunes by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby, is chock full of secret identities, forbidden love affairs and scandalous art thievery. The hijinks continue through October 13!