Armed with more than a full tank of gas and half a pack of cigarettes — and 106 miles closer to Chicago than Jake and Elwood were in the film — the musical “The Blues Brothers Revival” will open at Chi’s Center for the Performing Arts on April 20.
Presented by the John Belushi estate, Judy Belushi Pisano and Dan Aykroyd, “Blues Brothers” will be directed by Victor Pisano, who also wrote the musical stage play. Tony Tomaska of “Tony and Tina” fame will serve as co-producer.
“Blues Brothers” will include music of the 1980 film that found Jake (John Belushi) and Elwood (Aykroyd) Blues reuniting their band to raise money to pay an orphanage’s tax bill. Tuner will also include music from the other Blues Brothers albums Belushi and Aykroyd made together.
In “The Blues Brothers Revival,” Elwood and a cast of gospel-singing characters attempt to get Jake out of purgatory and into heaven. The brothers encounter black magic, blues singers, Chicago cops and orphanage nun Mother Immaculata.
Established Chicago-based blues artists will comprise the onstage band; gospel singers and other cast members are expected to be Chi locals as well. Songs include “Rubber Biscuit,” “Soul Man,” “Sweet Home Chicago” and “Rawhide.”
Sets are of 1970s South Side Chicago and the Mississippi Delta.
Previews for the open-ended run begin April 7.