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The Heart of Rock and Roll.

The 80's Personified.

By Robert M Massimi. ( Broadway Bob).Published 3 months ago 3 min read
Robert M Massimi

If you want a fun, glam jukebox musical, then "Heart of Rock and Roll" is for you. The musical is based on music by Huey Lewis; the plot, or book by Johnathan A. Abrams as well as story (also Tyler Mitchell) is a fun one filled with 80's references, IKEA jokes, aerobics and leggings!

The direction by Gordon Greenberg is sharp, the actors flow nicely at The James Earl Jones Theatre. The choreography too is very tight, very eighties (Lorin Latarro) and the lighting is pure glam; bright blues, greens, reds and purples make this show pop.

Mr. Lewis's songs blend tremendously with all the things that make a great show,,, deft costumes (Jen Caprio), opulent sets (Derek McLane) and big voices. It all comes together for two hours and thirty minutes. Audience members settle in to relive the past with the its expressions, the fashion, the high hair and bask in its nostalgia. In this mid west box company, the simplicity of the everyday life keeps the actors upbeat; this warm play permeates the joy of being alive in this era.

As Bobby (Corey Cott) navigates his life, a one time lead singer and guitarist who has put that behind him for a 9 to 5 job at Stone Box Company, he sets his sights higher to become one in the executive offices. After a slip up he must further navigate his life. John Dossett as Mr. Stone who is replete with mid west charm but is a no nonsense man, his daughter, Cassandra (McKenzie Kurtz) is a numbers gal. Graduating from Princeton University she is a stickler for the bottom line. As things twist and turn, the company needs ideas and this is when the musical gets interesting.

Most of Mr. Lewis's songs are in the show (except "She's Heart and Soul"). The musical direction clearly helps the show along with how the actors sing them; not to gitch, not to heavy on the percussion, it is a right blend of orchestration. In fact nothing in this musical is heavy in the way of over powering, just a smooth feel to it. The vibe throughout is that the show more flutters than anything else. The only thing that vacillates is whether Bobby will stick to his game plan of being a corporate guy or a rocker. It is not always clear as to what his decision will be and that's part of the great fun.

As the 2024 spring season concludes, (only a few sporadic ones left), it Was "Sign of The Times" and "The Heart of Rock and Roll" that I will most look back on as fun shows! Both had a wonderful book and really fun music to them. This season was one of the deepest show lineup in quite some time; most of the shows were quality, what separates a show like "Heart of R&R is that it never takes itself too seriously, rather it pokes fun at itself. From the Richard Simmons spoof to Fjord (Orville Mendoza) the Swedish furniture magnet, we all laugh at the memories that was 1987 when this musical takes place.

Like "Back to The Future", this musical has something for everybody and it will attract audiences of all ages. You don't have to be a "boomer" to enjoy it! Between the laughter, the glorious songs and the wonderful dancing, "Heart of Rock and Roll" is a keeper!


"Home" will round out the season with a few shows scheduled for the summer. It already appears that the fall season will have some interesting shows coming to "The Great White Way".

No Bull With Raging Robert,, Theater Pizazz,, www.solarwind,org, "The Lion King".

80s music

About the Creator

Robert M Massimi. ( Broadway Bob).

I have been writing on theater since 1982. A graduate from Manhattan College B.S. A member of Alpha Sigma Lambda, which recognizes excellence in both English and Science. I have produced 14 shows on and off Broadway. I've seen over700 shows

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Comments (1)

  • Alex H Mittelman 3 months ago

    Rock on! Great article! ❤️🇮🇱

Robert M Massimi. ( Broadway Bob).Written by Robert M Massimi. ( Broadway Bob).

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