‘Rocktopia’ and ‘Home for the Holidays’ to Hit Broadway


An image from “Rocktopia: Live in Budapest.” The show will come to Broadway next March.

Atilla Nagy/PBS

The intersection between rock and classical music has proved fertile ground for Broadway, as seen in musicals like “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Rent.” But never will the crossover be so literal as when “Rocktopia” arrives on Broadway in March. The show, created by Rob Evan, will fuse ’80s rock songs with classical arias and concertos at the Broadway Theater from March 20 to April 29.

Mr. Evan is a Broadway veteran who appeared in “Les Miserables” and “Jekyll & Hyde” and also sings with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, a band that often toggles between classical and rock. Mr. Evan and other lead singers will be backed by a rock band, a choir and a 20-piece orchestra conducted by Randall Craig Fleischer. The show is broken into movements centered on themes like love, angst and rebellion, so Puccini’s romantic “Musetta’s Waltz” will be melded with the Beatles’ “Something”; Rachmaninoff’s yearning Piano Concerto No. 2 will turn into Heart’s “Alone”; and Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” will wail and rage next to Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.”

The idea was born out of Mr. Evan’s performances at various pops concerts, where he would mix sections of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.” “We thought, ‘This is crazy,’ and the audience would flip out,” Mr. Evan said in an interview. An inaugural performance of the show, “Rocktopia: Live in Budapest,” was recorded at the Hungarian State Opera House last year and aired on PBS.

“We’re not dumbing down that music,” Mr. Evan said of his classical selections….

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