“The Original Tribute to the Blues Brothers” is coming to Cranston’s Park Theatre, Monday, Feb. 25 at 8 p.m., and what a show it promises to be.
I talked with Brad Henshaw, who plays Jake opposite Daniel Fletcher’s Elwood, from his hotel in Danville, N.C., where the show is receiving rave reviews. Henshaw, who trades in his British accent for a Chicago one, as does Henshaw with his Australian accent, wrote for the show before buying the exclusive rights from Judy Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, where the show first played in the tiny seaside town of Brighton, England. Since then, the homage to the Blues Brothers has played London’s West Side Theatre District four times, spent five weeks in Chicago, and is now touring the United States.
“It has been a cult phenomenon in England,” Henshaw said. “You’d be surprised how many Blues Brothers fans there are out there. The show attracts music lovers of all ages. Anybody who knows blues and rock and roll will love the show. You’ll hear Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect’ and ‘Think,’ a bit of Ray Charles, and most of the songs from the original movie, plus a tribute to the Saturday Night Live skits.”
The nine-member band is backed by the Bluettes.
“People are encouraged to sing along, dance and just enjoy a great time with the music that is timeless,” said publicist Melissa Miller.
“We have a number in the second act – Flip, Flop, Fly – where we have fun with some audience members,” Henshaw said. “Many people even come to the show dressed like the Blues Brothers.”
Henshaw promises a lively evening with “some of the world’s greatest musicians.”
“We’re proud to be able to bring the show to Rhode Island,” he said.
Tickets are on sale and going fast at the Park Theatre’s Rhode Island Center for the Performing Arts. For reservations call 467-7275. Check them out online at www.parktheatreri.com.