Foreigner are back on the road for their 40th anniversary tour – just as a brand new musical based on the timeless hits of the band prepares to open in Canada.
Jukebox Hero – The Musical will be given its world premiere in Alberta this coming August, with dates at the Jubilee theatres in Calgary and Edmonton.
The show will open its North American tour in Toronto in February 2019 at the historic Ed Mirvish Theatre. Ahead of the show’s premiere in Canada, Jukebox Hero has already taken $300,000 in tickets sales.
Plans are already in the pipeline for the show to be staged on Broadway, followed by an international tour with dates including the UK and Europe.
As part of their 40th Anniversary tour and to formally launch Jukebox Hero – The Musical in the UK, Foreigner are performing for the first time ever at London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall later this month. The concert is sold out.
The Jukebox Hero team will be joining the band in the capital to showcase the new stage show.
The team behind Jukebox Hero – a coming of age story written to the music of British American band Foreigner – reads like a roll call of creative talent which is second to none.
Calgary-based Annerin Theatricals and Foreigner have joined forces with the prolific British writing duo Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, who have written the book of this new rock and roll musical.
The creative partnership of Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais is responsible for such TV hits as The Tracey Ullman Show, The Two Ronnies, Lovejoy, Auf Wiedersehen Pet, The Likely Lads and perhaps their biggest TV success, Porridge. Their film credits include The Commitments, Across The Universe, The Bank Job and Still Crazy.
The pair first collaborated on a stage musical in the early 1970s when they turned the Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall play Billy Liar into the hit musical, Billy, starring a young Michael Crawford.
The artistic team is led by Foreigner founder, songwriter and lead guitarist Mick Jones and Foreigner’s managers Phil Carson and Stewart Young, whose career track record includes AC/DC; Emerson, Lake and Palmer; Yes; and Led Zeppelin.
Canadian theatre impresario Jeff Parry from Annerin Theatricals completes the team. Jeff has brought successful productions to the stage in Broadway, Europe and London’s West End, with shows including Let It Be, a celebration of the music of The Beatles.
The North American premiere of Jukebox Hero will be directed by Randy Johnson, known for Broadway’s Tony Award Nominated production of A Night With Janis Joplin; with musical staging and choreography by Tracey Flye (resident director of the Toronto productions of We Will Rock You and Once); and musical direction by Mark Camilleri (musical director for the Toronto engagement of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax).
Producer Jeff Parry from Annerin Theatricals commented: “Foreigner celebrate 40 years of musical success this year. Their songs have stood the test of time – and Jukebox Hero is the perfect way to introduce new audiences to the band’s catalogue of hit songs.
“This is a very exciting time for Jukebox Hero. The show is generating an incredible amount of interest ahead of its premiere this Summer – and plans are already in the pipeline to bring the show to the UK and Europe, where we know the band have a strong following.
“I am delighted to join Mick Jones, Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais, Phil Carson and Stewart Young in London for the Foreigner concert this month, when we will showcase Jukebox Hero.”
Jukebox Hero is set in Blaydon, Pennsylvania, a rust-belt town dependent on one main industry. The story starts with the closure of its biggest factory and the plight of its now unemployed workforce. The town seeks the help of Blaydon’s most famous son, music superstar Ryan, but returning to Blaydon doesn’t just mean revisiting a town where he’s become a stranger – it means confronting the ghosts of his past.
Jukebox Hero features all 16 of Foreigner’s iconic Top Thirty hit songs including I Want To Know What Love Is, Cold As Ice, Waiting For A Girl Like You, Hot Blooded, Urgent, Head Games, Feels Like The First Time, and the show’s title song, Jukebox Hero.
Fans of the band will be transported back to when it all began with a 40th anniversary concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Wednesday 16 May – when they perform at the capital’s landmark venue for the very first time in their four decades of music. The concert is sold out.
Foreigner is Mick Jones (lead guitar), Kelly Hansen (lead vocals), Tom Gimbel (rhythm guitar, sax, vocals), Jeff Pilson (bass, vocals), Michael Bluestein (keyboards), Bruce Watson (guitar) and Chris Frazier (drums).