Rascals Groovin' On Broadway

by John Platt
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The Rascals are rocking the Richard Rodgers Theater in their limited Broadway engagement, Once Upon a Dream, written, produced, and directed by Steven Van Zandt of the E Street Band. Using a high-quality concert PA system and video projections, it tells the story of the Rascals, reunited after 40 years, as they perform 28 songs (backed by a bassist, keyboard player, and three harmony singers).

If they cut 8 or 9 of the more marginal songs and some of the flower power feel-good sentimentality (a little much even for an aging hippie like me), it would be a stronger show. Still, it makes you appreciate the impact of their blue-eyed soul on a generation of young music fans, including, obviously, Steven Van Zandt and Bruce Springsteen. (It's appropriate somehow that they're performing across the street from Motown:The Musical.)

They may be a little paunchy, but these guys can still sing and play, and there was enough mojo in songs like "I Ain't Gonna East Out My Heart Anymore," "Good Lovin'," and "People Got to Be Free" to convince an audience of 60-somethings they weren't too old to rock & roll.

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