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Actor Spotlight: Corey Cott of ‘Bandstand’

Category Actor Spotlight

|by Jeryl Brunner |


Actor Corey Cott takes us behind the scenes of the season’s top hit ‘Bandstand’

In the new Broadway musical Bandstand, Corey Cott co-stars as a WWII veteran who longs to be in a swing band with his fellow vets. Directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton, Cats, In the Heights), the show is all about using passion for music to fulfill a dream. Bandstand also stars Laura Osnes and begins previews March 31, 2017.

Corey Cott in Bandstand

Corey Cott in ‘Bandstand’ (Photo: Jeremy Daniel)

If somebody asked you, why should I see Bandstand, what would you tell them? 
Corey Cott:
If you want to be incredibly entertained by a show you’ve never seen before with an amazing amount of substance, incredible original music, and sizzling choreography, you should come see Bandstand. It has everything. 

What do you love about your character, Donny?  
Corey Cott:
As actors, we love complexity. We love layers. In a way, we’re archaeologists and like to dig and find things in characters and discover brokenness. We love to bring truth to those things. Playing Donny gives me the opportunity to do that. I believe that I have that responsibility, especially in the way our show tells a story of a bunch of World War II vets and how they come home broken from war. They find music as a way to cope. And that begins their healing. 

How has music healed you in your life? 
Corey Cott:
I grew up in church so I was always involved with choir.  Music and singing was always a major part of our community. That’s one thing the show does. It brings people and the community together because we agree on music. It establishes friendships. So many times, my friends and family have connected over music — going to concerts, celebrating different musicians, watching the Grammys. It’s given me opportunities to connect with people in ways I don’t even know how to describe.

Why do you love to sing? 
Corey Cott:
That’s a good question. I love expressing sound through music. By its nature, music is one of the most incredible, if not the best, gifts that we have on earth. Any time I can experience that through my own instrument or through another instrument, I feel closer to people and the nature of how we are designed.  There is something inherent in how we connect to music and how it makes us feel.

And you learned to play the piano for the show
Corey Cott:
I played a little bit of the piano at the Paper Mill Playhouse where we did the production. But I didn’t play everything. And now I pretty much play everything in the show. For the past six or seven months I have been playing every day in order to get my chops up to be with these guys in the show who are incredible musicians. In order to speak the language of music and to play Donny, honestly and truthfully, I couldn’t do it any other way. I had to learn piano. 

What did you love about working with Andy Blankenbuehler?
Corey Cott:
He usually has the best idea in the room. But he’s willing to sit through everyone else’s idea and then say his idea. I think, oh, that’s the best idea. He’s very patient with us, willing to listen and understand where we’re coming from, what we think and how we can make this as truthful and as honest as possible. We decide together what feels right.  He walks in the room and I want to trust him. And to me, that’s a leader. That’s a director.

 

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