A Musical in 2 Acts. Music by Mark Allen; Music and Lyrics by Gaby Alter; Concept, Music, Lyrics and Book by Tommy Newman and Gordon Greenberg
Goodspeed Opera - Norma Terris Theater – 13 May – 6 June, 2010 (season)
This is a high-stepping tribute to high school marching bands and misfits everywhere. With just nine members and dwindling funds, the Cuyahoga High Marching Beavers are close to extinction. When a troubled athlete is relegated to their ranks, tuba-playing band captain Elliott and his best friend Laura must find a way to unite the band, embrace their inner geek and save the Marching Beavers."
The Cuyahoga High Marching Beavers are arriving to band camp after summer vacation and the anticipation for football season is palpable. Elliott, the tuba-playing band captain nervously calls roll. It is apparent that there are only nine Marching Beavers, which is hardly enough to form a successful Marching Band. Among the group of misfits are Laura, a flute player and Elliott’s best friend; Nicole, the twirler girl; Stewart, the overachieving principal’s son; Spitz, the hot shot trumpeter who actually isn’t all that great; and Natalia, a classically trained exchange student from Braslovia.
As the Beavers begin their rehearsal, Ms. Dixon, the school principal, approaches Mr. Hornsby, the band director, with news that the band will be gaining a new member, Jake. Jake is a troubled all-star football player who was kicked out of another high school and has joined the band as a drummer in order to graduate. Jake only worsens the less-than melodious sounds of the band and is taken under Laura’s wing for some much needed musical training.
The next morning, Ms. Dixon gives Mr. Hornsby the bad news that due to a lack of funding, she has decided to cut the band programme. Forced to forfeit their practise field, the Marching Beavers take to the parking lot for rehearsals. Spirits are down and the band still looks a mess, but they must prepare for their last performance at the big game against Jake’s former school, Waterloo.
At the game, the Beavers take the field to play Elliott’s original composition, “Flight of the Tuba” and caught up in thoughts about his ruined dreams of football stardom, Jake breaks loose in an unrehearsed snare drum solo. The solo earns attention, praise and awe from the band and Mr. Hornsby and the school board allows the band to finish out the season. Even more, a recruiter from Ohio State likes the performance so much that she invites the band to compete at The Festival of Champions.
The next day, Ms. Dixon gives Mr. Hornsby more bad news – someone has broken into the supply closet in the field house and vandalized the equipment. After false accusations that Jake has committed the crime, Laura tries to save her friend from being kicked out of yet another school and confesses. Laura is suspended and the band is confused by the news. Not wanting to ruin Laura’s future, Stewart tells the band that he vandalized the field house after the football team locked him in.
Relieved and ready, all ten members of the Marching Beavers step on to the field at Ohio State University to compete in the Festival of Champions. It was a long journey, but the band has overcome their individual pride, become a united force and embraced their inner geek.
- Captain of the Beavers
- Band Geeks
- Keep the Beat
- Lost in the Brass
- Good Enough
- Twirler Girl
- If I Had a Stage
- One Look at You
- Friday Night
- Team Player
- The Festival of Champions
- Get It Together
- The Back of the BUs
- Big Shot
- Lost in the Brass (Reprise)
- Good Enough (Reprise)
- Stewart's Exit
Cast : - Ensemble Band Members; Offstage Voices
- Elliot - Tuba player. Recently appointed Beaver Band Captain, he is eager to prove his competency to his peers, superiors, and especially his parents. Awkward around the opposite sex and slightly overweight. (
Male, 17 yrs old)
- Jake - Drummer. An African-American, he is protecting a scarred interior life. After a violent incident at his previous school, the former star football player is forced to transfer to Belleview and join the marching band. (
Male, 17 yrs old)
- Laura - Flute player. Though kind hearted and talented, she feels overlooked and longs to stand out from the crowd. Smart and patient. (
Female, 17 yrs old)
- Mr. Hornsby - the adored band teacher. Mr. Hornsby is dedicated and passionate, but has bigger dreams than reality will allow. Committed to his students. (
Male, 30-40 yrs old)
- Ms. Dixon - the principal of Belleview High. Recently divorced and somewhat neurotic, her commitment to serve the children tends to mangle her common sense. A loving mother with her own "best of intentions." (
Female, 35-45 yrs old)
- Natalia - Trumpet player. Eastern European exchange student, she is wise and wry beyond her years. (
Female, 15-18 yrs old)
- Nicole Baton twirler. A perky optimist, she is an avid planner and part-time exhibitionist. Keenly aware of her beauty, yet occasionally oblivious to its effect on others. (
Female, 15-18 yrs old)
- Spitz - Trumpet player. A show-off with urban flair, his bravado outweighs his talents. His kind heart is his redemptive quality. (
Male, 15-18 yrs old)
- Stewart - Clarinet player. He is Ms. Dixon's asthmatic son and the youngest member of the band. Desperately trying to escape the long shadow of his mother. ( Male, 14-17 yrs old)