Review: Roll Over, Beethoven? At ‘Rocktopia,’ It’s Time to Roll Back Review REVIEWS

Opening Night:
Closing:
Open Ended

Theater: Broadway Theatre / 1681 Broadway, New York, NY, 10019

Synopsis: 

About two hours in, the touring concert “Rocktopia,” which is making a six-week pit stop on Broadway, had settled into a benign, dull groove. Then the slide show, which until then had been mostly sunsets and rolling clouds, jolted me awake.

Could it be? Yes, that was Anne Frank looming over the stage, followed by images of Eleanor Roosevelt, Mother Teresa, Diana, Princess of Wales and a Van Gogh self-portrait. All of them visual aids for Queen’s “We Are the Champions.”

If anything, “Rocktopia” will go down as featuring one of the most misguided PowerPoint presentations ever to grace a Broadway stage.

Hatched by the singer Rob Evan and the conductor Randall Craig Fleischer, “Rocktopia” brings together the worlds of classical music and rock under the theory that they are more simpatico than a casual listener might assume. The idea is that, say, Mozart was the Mick Jagger of his time, while many beloved singalongs and air-guitar staples draw from centuries-old masterpieces.

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