It might feel like the first time, and that’s because it is: in Calgary today, Foreigner announced that as part of their 40th anniversary celebration, they’re creating a brand new musical called Jukebox Hero. Based on the screenplay from the prolific duo of Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, who were responsible for films The Commitments and Across The Universe, along with The Tracy Ullman TV Show, Jukebox Hero is a coming of age saga written around the music of Foreigner. The show will include the band’s 16 iconic top 30 hits, and will open in Calgary Friday August 10, moving on to Edmonton Thursday August 16.
The musical is set in Blaydon Pennsylvania, a rust belt town with all of its eggs in one basket. The story starts with the closure of its biggest factory and the dire straits of its now unemployed workers. The town looks to its most famous son, music superstar Ryan, for help — but going home means more than just revisiting a town where he’s become a stranger — it also means confronting some ghosts from his past.
“I never could have imagined when I set out to create Foreigner forty years ago, that we’d still be touring around the world and performing the music we love all these years later,” says founding member and lead guitarist Mick Jones. “I am so proud that these songs will now be reinterpreted for stage, and am honored by the team that is helping bring this music to life. I can’t express the gratitude I feel when fans share stories of how our songs have been woven into their milestones and memories over the years. I had so many great times with Foreigner in Canada and I look forward to bringing the band back here for our 40th anniversary tour. I’m thrilled that Canada will see the world premiere of our brand-new musical in 2018.”
The band’s 10 city Canadian tour launches in Calgary tonight, and then travels across Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, where they’ll play Dawson Creek, Penticton, Prince George and Abbotsford. More information is available here.
Here’s video from today’s media conference in Calgary, featuring an unplugged performance of a song with which I’m sure you’re familiar.