The All New Original Tribute to the Blues Brothers | Auditorium Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The All New Original Tribute to the Blues Brothers Closing (Theater and Galleries) Member Picks The Short List (Theater)

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through July 24 2011

According to a February 16 Chicago Sun-Times story, John Belushi's widow, Judy Pisano, has been none too fond of this jukebox musical from London. She and Dan Aykroyd own the rights to Jake and Elwood Blues--the now-iconic characters originally created by Aykroyd and Belushi for a 1978 SNL sketch--and the show used them without permission. (A publicist for the production says that an agreement is now in place.) Pisano might be even more annoyed if she actually sat through the thing. Brad Henshaw's Jake and Daniel Fletcher's Elwood wear the signature black suit-and-shades ensemble, conform to the signature round guy/lean guy silhouette, dance the signature goofy dances, and sing songs from the signature playlist. But the impersonations are still only approximate. Aykroyd and Belushi played cartoons, sure, but cartoons based on sharp observation. Henshaw, in particular, lacks the weirdly suave brutishness that made Belushi's Jake so cool, and never offers a substitute for it. Some of the song selections suggest a lack of nuance, too. I can understand adding "With a Little Help From My Friends": it gives Henshaw a chance to do Belushi doing Joe Cocker. But "Under the Boardwalk"? —Tony Adler

Price: $25-$55

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