Chicago Theatre Review
Revisiting the Summer of Love
Once Upon a Dream
Isn’t it incredibly magical how a smell, a taste or a specific song can unlock fond memories? Once the houselights dim, young theatre goers and especially Baby Boomers find themselves suddenly transported back to their high school and college years, courtesy of the music created by one of the ’60’s best-loved bands. Then, The Young Rascals, labeled America’s “blue-eyed soul group,” rose to popularity during an era primarily populated by the British Invasion bands. This quartet of likable, talented young musicians burst onto the scene with songs like “Good Lovin’,” “Groovin’,” and “It’s a Beautiful Mornin’.” Other hits included “A Girl Like You,” “How Can I Be Sure?” and “People Got to Be Free.” Their music was the soundtrack for what was affectionately termed The Summer of Love. That summer lasted a decade until the band broke up, each going their separate ways. The Rascals recorded several songs and record albums that became Top Ten Best-sellers. In 1997 the group reunited for the first time in years and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Thanks to legendary music producers/directors Steven and Maureen Van Zandt, the original Rascals, consisting of Felix Cavaliere (keyboard, vocals), Eddie Brigati (vocals), Gene Cornish (guitar) and Dino Danelli (drums), have been reunited once again for an event that played 14 sold-out performances on Broadway. Part concert, part theatrical multi-media event, the program features concert lighting, psychedelic projections, filmed historical footage, interviews and re-enactments by lookalike young actors playing the musicians in their youth by Marc Brickman. This five-day run in Chicago, part of a limited road tour, precedes a return to New York for another three-week engagement.
Leave it to this smooth-sounding American boy band from the ‘60’s to deliver such a joyous journey to the land of fond memories. Rascals newcomers were rocking and clapping with as much joy as the audience members who recalled this group’s music from their youth. For a few nights, all of Chicago will certainly be “Groovin’.”
Reviewed by Colin Douglas
Presented Nov. 5-10 by Broadway in Chicago at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 West Randolph, Chicago.
Tickets are available by calling the BIC Ticket Line at 800-775-2000 or by visiting www.BroadwayinChicago.com.
Additional information about this and other area productions can be found at www.theatreinchicago.com.