The All New Original Tribute to the Blues Brothers Makes its U.S. Debut at Chicago's Auditorium Theatre.

 The All New Original Tribute to the Blues Brothers Makes its U.S. Debut at Chicago's Auditorium Theatre.

They’re back.  Direct from London, The Blues Brothers, Jake (Brad Henshaw) and Elwood (Daniel Fletcher), don their iconic hats, sunglasses and suits for “The All New Original Tribute to the Blues Brothers” in its U.S. premiere at Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre from July 6 through July 24, 2011.

Chicago, the site of the duo’s $30-million Chicago-shot 1980 Blues Brothers film, is the natural choice to kick off this touring production whose roots were formed back in 1978 as part of a musical sketch on “Saturday Night Live”.  From there the Blues Brothers took on a life of its own, resulting in an album, “Briefcase Full of Blues,” and two films, “The Blues Brothers” (starring John Belushi as Jake and Dan Aykroyd as Elwood in 1980) and “Blues Brothers 2000” (1998)–developing a cult following, not unlike the “Rocky Horror Picture Show”.

The current stage production got its modest start in a small seaside pub in Brighton, England in 1991 where it became a runaway success that was picked up by theater producer David Pugh and film director David Leyland who opened the show in the West End where it played for 46 weeks to more than 150,000 people.

The Auditorium Theatre production is a joint effort by Charles Aerts Theatre Productions and EJB Entertainment.  It has been reworked with the help of director Brad Henshaw; an established name on the international music scene who also stars as Jake.  The reworked version retains everybody’s favorite songs from the original including “Shake A Tail Feather,” “Think,” “Respect,” “Gimme Some Loving” and “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love!” but has added a brand new set, updated choreography and some new numbers.

The All New Original Tribute to the Blues Brothers is a full-scale musical extravaganza featuring an amazing seven-piece band from Europe, the sexy and talented  Bluettes dancing (and singing) girls, plus comedy and audience participation.  Expect hand-clapping, dancing in the aisles, and fans dressed in Blues Brothers attire from dark glasses and suits to the iconic hats. Don’t be surprised, if you spot penguin or two along the way as the brothers travel their 2-hour and 15-minute “Mission for God” journey that features 33 full-blown numbers in two acts, an encore and a play-off.

Film Buffs.
If you are interested in some background on the Chicago-shot Blues Brothers film two Chicago tours will take you the original film locations.  Go to Chicago Trolley or Chicago Film Tours for information and tickets.

Tickets to the July 6 – July 24 performances are $25-$55 and are available online at Ticketmaster or by phone at  800 982-2787 or in-person at ATRU’s Box Office (50 E. Congress Parkway).  Groups can purchase tickets at  312 431-2357. Running time: 2 hours and 15 minutes including one intermission. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are available for purchase in the lobby and may be brought into the theatre.

Performance Schedule.
The July 6 – July 24 performances of ―The All New Original Tribute to The Blues Brothers play: Wednesdays – Fridays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Location: The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, located at 50 E. Congress Parkway, 312 922-2110.

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