The Blues Brothers Revival (lost recording of one-time Blues Brothers tribute musical; 2004)
On April 7, 2004, The Blues Brothers Revival, a musical tribute based on the Saturday Night Live sketch and soul revivalist group The Blues Brothers, was performed at the Chicago Center for the Performing Arts. It was a one-night only event and was greeted with fairly negative reviews. It featured many songs from the original film and the already existing Blues Brothers albums.
The plot of the film has "Joliet" Jake Blues dead and in purgatory, with his brother Elwood (along with some choir singers) trying to get him into heaven. It featured songs such as "Sweet Home Chicago," "She Caught the Katy," "R.E.S.P.E.C.T.," and "Jailhouse Rock," along with a few others.
The production was met with fairly negative reviews, with many outlets such as Variety stating: "...A tawdry, loose, humorless and generally half-baked effort, with a book so weird and wafer-thin it makes no compelling case whatsoever for its own existence."
The Chicago Reader stated "[Victor R. Pisano] gives us only the barest fig leaf of a story: Jake, who’s dead and burning in purgatory, is trying to get into heaven. Nothing about this Blues Brothers nostalgia concert, lightly sprinkled with references to the 1980 Blues Brothers movie, gives us a reason to care about it."
Background & Availability
The musical was written by Victor R. Pisano, husband to Judith Belushi-Pisano (former wife of John Belushi, the original actor for Jake Blues), and while it was performed, nothing out of the musical has ever surfaced. No videos, pictures, or even a script have been found. The only thing confirming its existence are a few reviews of the musical and an announcement by Playbill.
Other Blues Brothers Articles
- The Blues Brothers (lost roadshow cut of musical comedy film; 1980)
- The Blues Brothers: The Animated Series (partially found episodes of unaired film-based animated series; 1997)
- The Blues Brothers Revival - Chicago Reader
- The Blues Brothers Revival on Illinois: Get Tickets Now! | Theatermania - 102426
- "Soul Man" Aims for Heaven in The Blues Brothers Revival, Set for Chicago April 7 | Playbill