‘Band Geeks’ making Nebraska debut at Gross High School

Practice is underway for “Band Geeks,” the musical, at Gross Catholic High School. From left, Mikaela Schmitz, plays Natalia, an exchange student from Braslovia; Casslyn McNamara, plays Nicole, a baton twirler; and Kinley Holm, plays Phoebe, who is in the chorus. The show will run from Feb. 26-28.

Expecting a three-show sell out next weekend, Gross Catholic High School’s drama department is practicing an Off-Broadway musical that will be presented in Nebraska for the first time, according to the school’s drama and music director, Becca Jackson.

For the last two years, Jackson has directed the Rodgers and Hammerstein classics, “Oklahoma” and “The Sound of Music,” so she hunted for something new that no one in Nebraska had done before, she said.

“Not many in America have done this show with a high school,” Jackson said.

“The musical, ‘Band Geeks,’ is a coming of age story that takes place in a high school band.”

The show, she said, was created for an adult audience in New York, but she’s adapted the PG-13 rated script to PG.

Teenage issues abound in the script, she said, with one person in love with the flute player — but the flute player is in love with the tuba player.

“It’s got the usual teenage themes of kids wanting to make out with everybody, but it’s got a great storyline, so I’m cleaning it up for our amazing ensemble cast,” Jackson said. “It’s the typical social outcasts trying to survive in the world of athletes. The moral of the story — and theme song — is ‘Embrace Your Inner Geek.’”

The play’s rights and royalties cost the school $2,000, she said.

“The last musical cost a total of $8,000, which included musicians and sets and everything. You can do a show for less, but I’ve been able to up the ante to have more quality shows. Audiences keep showing up, so I have been able to recoup the money,” she said.

Jackson said shows in the last several years have come fairly close to filling the 508 seats in the school’s auditorium, but she has greater expectations for “Band Geeks.”

The show will run Feb. 26-27 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 28 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students. Children under age 5 are free.

To learn more or purchase tickets, email Becca Jackson at drama@gcgmail.org or visit grosscatholic.org.

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