Review: The Blues Brothers… Approved @ New Theatre, Cardiff

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The Blues Brothers… Approved | 30th June 2016 | New Theatre, Cardiff

Article by Togira_Ikonoka.

I’m sure at some point in your life you would have heard about The Blues Brothers or watched the movie, which is also classed as a classic musical. If not, then I am very saddened as it really is an amazing piece, at least to my tastes, so do have a look at it and see.

Here’s a little bit of information about the film before you get your teeth into my review of the live performance at the theatre:

Directed by John Landis and written by Landis and Dan Aykroyd, who I am sure you know from Ghost Busters, the story is about two brothers who had a band so called the Blues Brothers because the brothers, Jake (John Belushi) and Elwood (Dan Aykroyd), had the surname “Blues” and also they played the blues songs like the following;

She Caught The Katy, Gimme Some Lovin and Everybody Needs Somebody To Love (not to be mistaken with Queen’s Somebody To Love). They even did songs like the theme from Rawhide (1959 TV series) and, most famously, Jailhouse Rock, which in the film was sung in the prison.

So, I do firstly have to admit that, sadly, due to sever migraines that I suffer, I was only able to stay for the first half of the show, which I absolutely hated because this is one of my favourite musicals of all time, but, anyway, back to the review and storyline.

Jake just gets out of prison and wants to put together his old band again to raise money to save the Catholic home where he and his brother were raised. Going by the film, you will notice little changes that were made for the live performance, for example, at the start of the show, just like in the movie, Elwood gives a little hello speech before they go into singing their first song, Everybody needs somebody to love. The speech goes something as follows:

“We’re so glad to see so many of you lovely people here tonight. And we would especially like to welcome the representatives from Cardiff’s law enforcement community that have chosen to join us here in the New Theatre at this time. We certainly hope you enjoy the show “even though you voted out of the EU” and, remember people, no matter who you are and what you do to live, thrive and survive, there are still some things that makes us all the same. You. Me. Them. Everybody. Everybody.”

Then, they go on to sing the song. They also made a few giggles when Elwood wanted to talk to us about love and went on to talk about Dolly Parton and then sung Rawhide, where you could tell Jake was not happy and, although he did all the moves, you could see a lot of sarcasm going about the stage.

The show was more about the music than anything else but was brilliantly done in my opinion, with two lovely backup singer ladies.

On the costume note, I did find it very amusing when the brothers came out dressed as bees to do a song called King bee, where, every now and again, they would say “buzz buzz” and shake the back end of the costume to the crowd. At some points, it was like he forgot the lyrics but then you realised he was just playing with the band as they played to certain parts of the song. I also really enjoyed Shake your tail feather, where they got nearly all the crowd up and dancing with them – that was a good giggle.

So, I know I’m cutting this off now but, I’ll admit, this was all I really saw. I did love the show and, even if youngsters don’t enjoy the music, I am sure parents would. It would be a great treat for parents to go and see, and even some little ones like my 2-year-old baby girl would probably have enjoyed it as she loved Shake your tail feather in the movie.

You can see more of what’s on at the New Theatre this summer here.


See all reviews on theSprout here (or pre-May 2016 here)*.

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Image credit: New Theatre website

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