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Rascals Rock the Borgata

Once Upon a Dream there was a band called “The Young Rascals” and they were so good that the Beatles actually opened for them. 

The Rascals were actually formed in Garfield New Jersey. They’re known for their blue eyed soul hits like “Groovin” It’s a Beautiful Morning” “People Got To Be Free” and the immortal “Good Lovin”After 40 years of being apart, and lots of coaxing from Steven Van Zandt, the group took their “Once Upon A Dream” show from Broadway to the Philadelphia Academy of Music, and then wrapped up Friday night The Borgata.

“Once Upon a Dream” was produced and directed by Steven and Maureen Van Zandt. The play has a Star Wars like beginning, and tells the story of the Rascals as told by the band themselves in on screen interviews with a little help from Vincent Pastore and some actors portraying them in their earlier days.

The band, consisting of originals Eddie Brigati (vocals), Felix Cavaliere (keyboard, vocals), Gene Cornish (guitar) and Dino Danelli (drums), performs 28 full songs. In the production notes, Van Zandt calls it ”the most comprehensive concert they’ve ever done.” Time may have changed their bodies, but their voices remain pretty much the same.

The group played in front of a backdrop of 60’s history, and celebrated Felix 71st birthday. After the show, Pastore came out and led the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday” to Felix.

What happens from here? Who knows! I’m hoping they continue to tour. If ever there was a show that would be perfect for a public television special, The Rascals “Once Upon A Dream” would be it.

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