By Melissa Griegel . . .
Chelsea Table + Stage is a hot new venue located below ground floor of the Hilton Fashion District Hotel at 152 W 26th Street in NYC. The 120-seat venue features state-of-the-art sound and lighting, a 10-seat in-theatre bar, and lofted VIP mezzanine for private groups. There is table and banquette seating options to enjoy meals, cocktails, and food for Sunday brunches and evening shows. The Boy Band Project began offering their “Boy Band Brunch” at Chelsea Table + Stage on February 27th and will be back on March 13th, March 27th, April 10th, and April 24th. Founder Travis Nesbitt (Alter Boyz, The Producers National Tour) started the group in 2014 after coming off Alter Boyz off-Broadway. It started out with a group of friends, many from Alter Boyz, singing their favorite boy band songs from the ‘90s and early ‘00s. Soon it grew into his full-time gig managing an ever-changing group that perform all over and have a very devoted fan base.
Travis has a roster of about 25 guys who learn one of the tracks to one of the archetypes of the group (The Sporty One, The Bad Boy, The Boy Next Door, and The Sensitive One). The men are all performers on Broadway, off-Broadway, regional theater, and cruise lines, so this gives them an opportunity to move in and out of the group in between jobs. One of the great things about this, for the audience, is that even if you see the band two weeks apart, you may get to see a different line-up and a different mix of songs.
The February 27th performance featured Chris Messina (A Bronx Tale, Jersey Boys) as The Sporty One, Sam Harvey (Rock of Ages 10th Anniversary National Tour, Bayside! The Musical!) as The Bad Boy, Christopher Brasfield (Book of Mormon National Tour, Choir Boy) as the Boy Next Door, and Nic Metcalf (Hairspray! National Tour) as The Sensitive One. Upcoming shows in March will feature Travis Nesbitt, Michael Fasano (Jersey Boys off-Broadway), and Jessie Corbin (Grease National Tour) taking over for some of the roles.
The Boy Band Project perform in front of screens that sometimes show clips of music and shows from the time period, bringing the audience back to those iconic moments. They gave a nod to the “OG” boy bands The Beatles and The Four Seasons by dressing in matching outfits and singing a bit of “Let it Be” and “December,1963 (Oh, What a Night)”, before tearing off their shirts and revealing boy band outfits from the 1990s. The crowd went wild as the guys sang and danced their hearts out to favorites from bands such as the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC. Each singer showed off their personality, frequently jumping off stage and singing to people at their tables. “I Want It That Way” and “Bye Bye Bye” were among the high energy songs that had the patrons clapping and singing along.
If you are looking to have a fun day out with friends and enjoy great brunch food and interesting cocktails, I highly recommend the show. The room was packed and everyone was laughing, clapping, singing, and dancing in their seats. The boys mix humor into the show and the video and lights enhance the feel of the Boy Band Era. They won the 2019 Broadway World Award for “Best Group” and in 2020 they received eight nominations for the 2020 Broadway World Awards and won Best Original Song for their Holiday Hit “Jingle My Bells” and Best Ensemble Soloist, Chris Messina.
You can catch them at Chelsea Table + Stage on March 13th, March 27th, April 10th, and April 24th. Go to https://www.chelseatableandstage.com/ to make reservations. For more information on The Boy Band Project, visit their website www.theboybandproject.com or check out their Instagram page @boybandproject.
Photos by Melissa Griegel Photography