Steven Van Zandt shares vision behind unique show 'The Rascals: Once Upon a Dream'

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by Lisa Fuller-Magee

GMAZ interview by Kaley O'Kelley

Posted on September 24, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 24 at 9:40 AM

PHOENIX -- "The Rascals: Once Upon a Dream" is a new show and concert produced and directed by Steven Van Zandt, as well as  lighting/​projection wiz  Marc Brick­man.

With the tag line "The songs you know. The story you don't," “Once Upon A Dream” is a hybrid of a rock concert and a Broadway show. It's sort of like seeing "Jersey Boys" with the real Four Seasons performing the music. Van Zandt and Brickman call "The Rascals: Once Upon a Dream" a "BioConcert."

Van Zandt stopped by "Good Morning Arizona" Tuesday to talk to Kaley O'Kelley about the show, which is at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix Oct. 14-20.

In addition to the  music,  fans will also see the his­tory of The Ras­cals, as well as  a  history of the ‘60s through the group's  music.  The show includes 30 songs and is dramaticized through a combination of narration, filmed scenes, news footage and archival footage of the band.
 
There are elements of the staging and light design never seen before just as Brickman has done in his previous ground­breaking work with Bruce Spring­steen, Pink Floyd, Paul McCart­ney, Blue Man Group, the opening ceremony of the Olympics, and Roger Waters’ recent "The Wall" tour. The Rascals show debuted at the The Capitol Theatre in New York in  December.
 
“To do justice to The Rascals importance, I’ve written a show for them that is just as unique as they are," Van Zandt said. "The show will be an uplifting inspiration for the fans that have been waiting all these years  and those who are younger will get a real taste of the ’60s they missed the first time around. More than just a come­back or reunion, the show will remind audiences how uniquely inspirational, entertaining, and historically important the Rascals’ music is. Their music was unique not only in its greatness, but through their hit sin­gles they told the entire story of the '60s.” 

The Rascals, formerly known as The Young Rascals, are one of the most influential American bands in rock history. In a time dominated by the English rock acts of the British Invasion, The Ras­cals not only survived but thrived.
 
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.

Their music would span the entire decade from the early go-​go dance par­ties right through the psy­che­delic era and beyond.
 
The band released numerous top ten singles in the mid– and late-​1960s, includ­ing “How Can I Be Sure,” “Come On Up,” “You Bet­ter Run,” “I’ve Been Lonely Too Long,” “Beau­ti­ful Morn­ing,” and the No. 1 hits “Good Lovin’,” “Groovin’,” and “Peo­ple Got to Be Free.”
 
They went their separate ways in the early '70s, finally reunit­ing for one night in May 1997, when Van Zandt inducted them into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
 
And now The Ras­cals’ original lineup — Felix Cavaliere, Gene Cor­nish, Eddie Brigati and Dino Danelli — have reunited for their first public performances in 40 years with “Once Upon A Dream.”

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