Tuesday August 22nd 2017

“The All New Original Tribute To The Blues Brothers”

Many of us are very familiar with “The Blues Brothers”- a sketch that was part of the “old” Saturday Night Live” back in 1978. From this little sketch with John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as the brothers Jake and Elwood, a cult grew. While the original movie, “The Blues Brothers” , which was shot in the Chicago area about the two brothers who get out of Joliet Prison and come to town to find the band so they can do a concert, lives on and other tributes have been done, this is by far the best tribute that has been devised. I only wish, as a tribute, there would have been just a little video so that  those who remember could get that warm feeling ,and those in the audience who are unfamiliar with these characters could get a feel for the artistry that Belushi and Aykroyd brought to the table.

Directed by Brad Henshaw, who also takes on the persona of Jake with some very stylish choreography by Debby Jenner, this is a two plus hour trip down memory lane with some  marvelous “Soul”, “Blues” and “Rhythm & Blues” numbers.  Thirty Three songs in all- “Everybody Needs Somebody”, “With A Little Help From My Friends”, a marvelous rendition of “Respect”, “Flip,Flop and Fly ” ( played with audience participation- a wonderful biy), “Think” ( aka “Freedom”), “Soul Man” and of course “Sweet Home Chicago”. This is a strong and energetic cast- Elwood and of course Jake , does all his somersaults and Elwood ( Daniel Fletcher even has the voice down as wel the harmonica). The  back-up trio of lovely ladies known as the Bluettes are not only marvelous to look at, they can all sing and dance; Jocasta Almgill,Victoria Goddard and Alexus Rush. There is also a special guest doing “Minnie The Moocher” as Cab Calloway ( you youngsters will have to look this one up). Antonio Fargas, who has been around for sometime and you old-timers may recall his “Huggy-Bear” character on the TV show, “Starsky and Hutch”.

The musicians were powerful, the  arrangements super and the staging , while on a much larger stage than I would have liked to see this type of production on all made for an evening that is sure to entertain. The Auditorium is one of our City’s finest venues and while I love the sound and the main floor, it might be just a little large for an intimate show like this, but wherever you sit, you will be guaranteed an evening well worth the cost of a ticket. The show will continue through July 24th with performances as follows:

Wednesdays,Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m.,Saturdays at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Tickets range from $25-$55 and are available online at www.ticketmaster.com, by calling 800–982-2787 or at The Auditorium box office located at 50 E.Congress Parkway.

A side note- when it appears to be over,”it isn’t!”. There is an encore including a great medly and then a “play-off”, Otis Redding’s “Ca’t Turn You Loose” to get you on your way home. You’ll be clapping and snapping an dhumming all the way home!

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