The Rascals Once Upon a Dream

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Submitted by Don Graham

That moment at a live theatre show when the lights go down and the announcer admonishes you about electronic devices and what you should do with them once the show starts is familiar to most of us. But how many times have you heard “If you have a cell phone or camera please leave them on. You can record, or take pictures or do whatever the F**k you want!!” Well that’s exactly how The Rascals show, Once Upon a Dream begins. It kind of set the mood and tempo for the evening. This is a rock ‘n’ roll show cleverly disguised as a play.

The Rascals new stage show, Once Upon a Dream, opened in Toronto on August 14, 2013 at The Royal Alexandra Theatre hosted by Mirvish Productions.

It was very cool to see a band that’s been around for over 40 years ago, still playing and singing like they did in their twenties. And it was the same , original members, Eddie Brigatti, Felix Cavaliere, Gene Cornish and Dino Danelli.  Eddie was singing like a young man and played his classic double tambourine and maracas, Felix had on his “A” Game Hammond  B3 chops and soulful  vocals. Gene looked he was having the most fun. He pranced around the stage, laying down his signature licks and ALWAYS engaging the crowd. Dino Danelli ,on drums, was probably the most impressive. For one, the stamina at 70, was incredible and secondly I had no idea what a great drummer he was and still is. The rest of the stage featured Mark Alexander on keyboards, Sharon Bryant, Angela Clemmons and Dennis Collins, background vocalists. Mark Prentice was shining as musical director and bass player.

Rascals Once Upon a Dream mirvish.comRascals Once Upon a Dream mirvish.comIn front of a screen that featured taped narration from the four Rascals, and guest cameos by The Sopranos  Jimmy Pastone,  with psychedelic images of the sixties,  the band performed their greatest hits, “Mickey’s Monkey” “Good Lovin’” “Groovin” “How Can I Be Sure” “ People Got To Be Free” “It’s a Beautiful Morning” and a whole bunch more. They sounded fresh and vibrant and just like the original recordings.

Steven Van Zandt, guitarist for Springsteen’s E Street Band,  grew up with The Rascals blend of rock, pop and blue-eyed soul, and never forgot it and was the one who got the band back together after forty years apart. Stevie and wife Maureen wrote and put the show together and were in Toronto for opening night.

This is a once upon a lifetime opportunity to see The Rascals Once Upon a Dream which runs at the Royal Alexandra Theater until August 25th, 2013.

For further information www.mirvish.com

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