Veteran rocker Sting took to the stage to sing with the cast on the opening night of his new musical The Last Ship in Chicago, Illinois. The Police star's show opened at the city's Bank of America Theatre on Wednesday (25Jun14) ahead of its planned Broadway debut in October (14), and the rocker was in the audience with his wife Trudie Styler.
At the end of the performance, Sting took to the stage for the curtain call and led the cast in a song, according to New York Post gossip column Page Six.
Other stars who turned out for the musical's opening included Paul Simon, James Taylor, Styx singer Dennis DeYoung and AC/DC's Brian Johnson.
The show received mixed reviews from critics, who questioned whether the production, set in a doomed shipyard in Sting's hometown in the north of England, could draw in audiences on Broadway.
Steven Oxman of variety writes, "Do you want to live for two-and-a-half hours in a beautifully sad song?... The show currently works as a collection of songs in search of a complete story, or perhaps as a concept album - filled with mood and emotion and character and sensibility, but swaying as it takes on specifics. What seems to be missing is a driving conflict."
The Chicago Tribune's Chris Jones adds, "(Many) scenes... still have the air of a semi-staged concept album... The Last Ship already is a worthy and earnest musical, but we know how Broadway loves to take those down. Just look at last season."
Lewis Lazare of the Chicago Business Journal concludes, "Most of the theatre crowds in the early going at least will probably have come to hear Sting's music for the show. Fans of his work may find that much of it sounds familiar and pleasant to hear performed in a theatrical setting. But hardcore theatre buffs will soon realise Sting's style of music - for the most part - simply doesn't sit comfortably in a big Broadway musical context."
It was announced recently that Christine McVie was reuniting with her bandmates in Fleetwood Mac after leaving the group in 1998. Fans can now be treated again to the group's Rumours-era lineup, with McVie taking back over vocals on her hits like "You Make Loving Fun" and "Hold Me."
With so many musicians cashing in on the money that can be made by going out on the road with a classic edition of their band, it's become hard to find acts that people clamor to have back together. Hard, but not impossible. Here are some artists that we'd like to see back in the band.
Slash, Guns N' Roses
Granted, Axl Rose is a nut-job and a major pain in the tuchus. Still, the demand for a tour featuring Rose, Slash, and the rest of the original lineup of GNR would be unbelievable and the group's core audience is now old enough to afford the ticket prices. If Don Henley, Glenn Frey and the other Eagles can spend years on the road taking separate busses and not speaking to each other, than there has to be a way for Axl and Slash to play nice long enough to cash in.
Beyoncé, Destiny's Child
Beyoncé certainly doesn't need to do anything that she doesn't want to do. Let's face it; Mrs. Carter has the entire world at her disposal. But, here's the thing, she's still friends with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, as evidenced by the recent photos of the three band members together at little Blue's birthday party. Beyoncé just released a 14-track "visual album" that nobody knew about in advance. If she's got that kind of time, then surely there's some extra to lay down some new DC material.
Roger Waters, Pink Floyd
Every subsequent generation has its own Floyd experience, whether it's watching late-night showings of The Wall or synching up Dark Side of the Moon with The Wizard of Oz. Waters is a creative genius, and notoriously difficult to work with. He's also 70 years old. Waters and the other surviving Floyd members (David Gilmour and Nick Mason) have done some one-off shows over the years, but it's not too late to give those younger fans one more chance to see one of Floyd's legendary live shows.
Steve Perry, Journey
There have been rumors for a long time that Perry's voice isn't what it used to be, which is why the singer hasn't released any new solo material in nearly 20 years. Perry's camp has denied that there is anything wrong with his voice, but even if there is a vocal issue, a reunion is still eminently doable. Arnel Pineda, the current lead singer of the band, has been a nice story, so keep him around to help supplement Perry. It's a little late to cash in on the hype that Glee created, but the band still might actually be more popular now than they were in their '80s heyday.
Dennis DeYoung, Styx
At the very least, this one would make Adam Sandler, an unabashed fan of the "Mr. Roboto" group, happy. DeYoung, who handled vocals on most of the band's biggest hits like "The Best of Times" and "Come Sail Away," has continued to perform Styx material in his shows and the other members of the group have long been on the fair and festival circuit. Sure, DeYoung sued the others at one time over the use of the band's name, but lawsuits are as much a part of the music industry as guitars. A reunion would at least upgrade them to the top county fairs in the country.