TRUE TO ESSENCE OF BLUES

A show to recre­ate all that made The Blues Broth­ers such a suc­cess is hit­ting all the right notes with the orig­i­nal’s staunch­est fans

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - SHOWS - THERESE MUR­RAY

It seems like yes­ter­day that broth­ers, Jake and El­wood Blues, played by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, in­vited the world to join them on a “mission from God”.

The Blues Broth­ers was a lov­able tale of re­demp­tion about the pair of paroled con­victs, who set out to save the Catholic or­phan­age in which they grew up, from the tax­a­tion depart­ment.

As the story goes, they re­formed their rhythm and blues band, The Blues Broth­ers, and or­gan­ised a con­cert to raise $5000 to pay off the debt and save the day.

But things never went ac­cord­ing to plan for Jake and El­wood, and their story evolved into a rol­lick­ing jour­ney of mis­ad­ven­ture, and one of best loved films ever.

The movie spawned many trib­utes but only one, the Of­fi­cial Blues Broth­ers Re­vue, has been sanc­tioned by Aykroyd and Belushi’s widow, Ju­dith Belushi Pisano, and comes to Twin Towns this week­end.

The re­vue stars Wayne Cata­nia as Jake and Kieron Laf­ferty as El­wood and Ju­dith Belushi is full of praise for them.

“It’s The Blues Broth­ers with a Belushi bless­ing,’’ she says.

“It’s amaz­ing how sim­i­lar Wayne and Kieron are to John and Dan. They have been do­ing The Blues Broth­ers for a very long time.’’

Gold Coast fans are set to get a nos­tal­gic mu­si­cal fix when the pair ar­rives from the US for their Aussie tour.

Belushi, who is an ac­com­plished writer, graphic designer and artist, mar­ried John Belushi in Aspen, Colorado, in 1976. They were mar­ried un­til John’s death on March 5, 1982.

Eight years later, Ju­dith mar­ried Vic­tor Pisano and the pair, along with Aykroyd, con­tin­ued to fly The Blues Broth­ers’ flag in John’s hon­our.

They cre­ated The Blues Broth­ers Re­vival which was writ­ten by Vic­tor and pro­duced by Judy and Dan.

Af­ter au­di­tion­ing more than 200 Blues Broth­ers teams for the world pre­miere of their mu­si­cal, Ju­dith, Vic­tor and Dan came across Cata­nia and Laf­ferty, who were im­me­di­ately cast in the lead roles.

“Dan and I were look­ing long and hard for the right peo­ple for the show. We had trou­ble in Chicago find­ing any guys who could do it,” she says.

“We heard about a show in Ve­gas and de­cided to make the trip to see if it was any good. We were very im­pressed.’’

Belushi says her hus­band would be very im­pressed with the show.

Since 2005, Ju­dith, Dan and the John Belushi Es­tate, have sanc­tioned Laf­ferty and Cata­nia’s own show.

The Of­fi­cial Blues Broth­ers Re­vue is a faith­ful recre­ation of the char­ac­ters, Jake and El­wood, and a spec­tac­u­lar trib­ute to Chicago’s rich his­tory of blues, R&B and tra­di­tional soul mu­sic, played with the same soul and con­vic­tion of the orig­i­nal Blues Broth­ers Band.

“I think part of the suc­cess of The Blues Broth­ers is that it is sim­ple mu­sic and peo­ple just love it,” Belushi says. “We are look­ing for­ward to bring­ing the show to the Coast and can’t wait to meet fans.

“The guys are ac­cus­tomed to a ter­rific re­cep­tion here in the US and I’m sure (you) will give them just as big a wel­come.”

Wayne Cata­nia and Kieron Laf­ferty bring The Of­fi­cial Blues Broth­ers Re­vue to Twin Towns on Satur­day night.

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