Sunday, August 14, 2016

Musical review: Cedar Point's Bandstand USA

Though rare, I have posted some of my thoughts about music, and specifically live musical entertainment at my favorite amusement park, Cedar Point. I wanted to write a bit about a particular show from this season for some particular reasons.  Maybe some high-up people at the Point will read this and continue this type of show. Because there are some great reasons why Bandstand USA is an amazing example of musical live entertainment!

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, amusement parks offer live song and dance shows, each with some sort of theme. Bandstand USA has a great theme, because it starts with some great music. The catchphrase used by the park is "AM radio hits". This show does not contain any current songs, but rather highlights from the early days of rock-n-roll. Hits made famous by acts such as The Temptations, Chuck Berry, and Chubby Checker. The music includes songs such as "Land of a Thousand Dances", "Ain't no Mountain High Enough", and "Soul Man". These are some of the songs that formed the very roots of what has become contemporary Pop music, and all current singers should look back on these songs with thanks and appreciation. Personally, I've always loved the "oldies", and still spend most of my time listening to music from acts that began recording before I was born.  As I often say, music didn't begin in the year 2000. I applaud Cedar Point for having a show focused on this era. I don't know much about modern music, but EVERYONE should recognize most of these songs. And if you don't recognize some of the more obscure's great to research them. I'll admit there were a couple I wasn't familiar with myself.

Also, I have to add that it isn't just the song selection that makes this show worth seeing, it is also the cast. I've seen plenty of shows like this overt he years, and sometimes there just seems to be a group of performers that gel really well. This seems to be the case here. The interaction and entertainment ability of the cast is superb. There are certain songs and dances that let individual cast members shine, but I can't really say there's a single performer who outshines the rest. The whole is great because of the contributions of the parts. (Well, I may have a personal favorite or two, but that's just my opinion and I would never say because I would feel like I'm putting the rest down.) I'm only superficially aware of the audition process, but the folks on charge do very well when picking out performers. Finally, one of the neat things about seeing this show many times over the summer is picking up on things that happen that you wouldn't notice if you were only watching it once. I notice the action in the background, how well the performers cover for each other, the funny looks, and little changes. And I really like seeing the dancer/singers waving to little kids in the front row. After all, you never know when you may inspire someone to be a future live performer!

So, as the season winds down, good luck to everyone involved, and to the Cedar-Point-powers-that-be: keep doing shows like this!


  1. I loved your review, our family loved the show and saw the same things in it that you did. We actually wrote to Charles Bradshawn at Cedar Fair Live Entertainment to let him know how special this cast was this season. Bravo for putting it into words in your blog. They deserve all the praise for this fantastic show this season.

  2. Thank you for your comment. I sheepishly admit I have not shared this with Cedar Point directly as I'm not sure how and haven't had time to really figure it out.