Motown and The Rascals: Jukebox Mausoleum

Boomers Turn Broadway into a Pop-Music Scrapbook

Still, this is a show for the fans, who haven’t had the chance to see these guys perform together since 1970. It’s polished up for Broadway, tricked out with the mating-jellyfish bio-swirls of a ’60s light show and video interludes of the band telling their story—lots of “And then I met [INSERT NAME OF RASCAL HERE].”

If you’re not already steeped in Rascalania, the now-sixtyish performers’ energy and chops might win you over, as might hits like “Groovin’” and “Beautiful Morning.” For me, the late, long psychedelic numbers ground on, leaving time to contemplate what exactly separated the British Invasion acts from our Jersey boys, these guys and Frankie Valli and his Four Seasons. Was it just better management? A taste for au courant abstraction fostered by London’s art schools? Being part of a swinging scene that was inspiring manias rather than a swooning nation that was succumbing to them? Whatever the problem was, Felix Cavaliere still kills as a soul singer, and Dino Danelli—well, goddamn, the drummer is undiminished.

Joan Marcus

Location Info


Lunt-Fontanne Theatre

205 W. 46th St.
New York, NY 10036

Category: Theaters

Region: West 40s

Richard Rodgers Theater

226 W. 46th St.
New York, NY 10036

Category: Theaters

Region: West 40s


Motown the Musical
Book by Berry Gordy
Lunt-Fontanne Theatre
205 West 46th Street

The Rascals: Once Upon a Dream
Book by Steven Van Zandt
Richard Rodgers Theatre
226 West 46th Street

Less certain is the show’s insistence that we need the Rascals, now more than ever. It’s one thing for nostalgia acts to remind us of their own better times; it’s another for them to argue that they might save our own.

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