By Michael Gioia
and Kenneth Jones
05 May 2013
Presented by producers Steven Van Zandt and Maureen Van Zandt, Marc Brickman, Larry Magid and BASE Entertainment, the tour will kick off May 24-27 at Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL.
Directed by Van Zandt and Marc Brickman, the show has stage, video and lighting design by Brickman. Previews began April 15, prior to an official opening April 16, at Broadway's Richard Rodgers Theatre.
A list of confirmed tour dates follows:
May 30 – Ruth Eckerd Hall (Clearwater, FL)
May 31 – Moran Theater (Jacksonville, FL)
June 5-6 and 8 – Academy of Music (Philadelphia, PA)
June 12 – Merriweather Post Pavilion (Columbia, MD)
June 14 – Koka Booth Amphitheatre (Cary, NC)
June 15 – North Charleston Performing Arts Center (North Charleston, NC)
June 17 – Ovens Auditorium (Charlotte, NC)
June 19-22 – Cobb Energy Center (Atlanta, GA)
June 25-30 – Boston Opera House (Boston, MA)
July 5 – Jones Beach (Wantagh, NY)
July 6 – PNC Bank Arts Center (Holmdel, NJ)
Additional tour cities and dates will be announced.
Here's how the experience is billed: "A hybrid of a rock 'n' roll concert and a Broadway show, The Rascals: Once Upon a Dream marks the first time The Rascals, America's classic blue-eyed soul band, have played together since 1970. Original band members Felix Cavaliere (keyboard & vocals), Eddie Brigati (vocals), Dino Danelli (drums) and Gene Cornish (guitar) will present a complete concert performance including songs that captured the spirit of America in the 1960s — their smash hits 'Good Lovin',' 'Lonely Too Long,' 'It's a Beautiful Morning,' 'How Can I Be Sure' and 'Groovin'.' The production will also feature the history of the iconic group told through archival footage, narration, and dramatic film segments viewed on the latest LED screen technology."
The Rascals: Once Upon a Dream made its debut at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY. Originally scheduled to play three performances in December 2012, an additional three shows had to be added to accommodate the demand for the concert experience.
The Rascals, formerly known as The Young Rascals, were at first "a hard-hitting band reminiscent of the early Animals," drawing from "the same well that fed the then-burgeoning garage rock scene," according to their biographical notes. "They would go on to lead the way for Blue Eyed Soul to Folk Rock to Protest to Civil Rights, blending white Pop melodies with black soul and R&B muscle. Though they never brandished their politics like some bands, the Rascals truly lived theirs, fighting discrimination by demanding that a black act appear on the bill at each of its concerts. The post-twist New York, New Jersey, and Long Island club scenes bred the band, an outfit whose sound grew more sophisticated as time went on, but stayed rooted in the blue-eyed soul that was its first reason for being. Their music would span the entire decade from the early Go-Go dance parties right through the psychedelic era — and beyond."
"When The Rascals: Once Upon a Dream sold out at the Capitol Theatre, and performances had to be added this past December, we saw very clearly that there is an enduring love for the music of The Rascals," Van Zandt, who also serves as the show's music producer, said in an earlier statement. "The Rascals created music that inspired a generation — and that feeling has lived on through their original fans and the legions of new fans that have discovered their music over the years."
Watch The Rascals sing "Good Lovin'" in Once Upon a Dream: