Now THIS is the way to launch a show.
The Broadway Inbound team got an extra special treat this week at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC. We were invited to an exclusive launch event for Head Over Heels, the brand-new musical featuring the songs of The Go-Go’s, coming to Broadway this July.
We generally get excited for these types of events, but what put this one over the top was the promise of a performance by all five original Go-Go’s. Those of us who remember the early ‘80s were giddy over the opportunity to see one of the decade’s greatest bands reunite, just for us. And we were eager to hear how the women would sound, nearly four decades after their initial success.
As we made our way into the very cool, very downtown Bowery Ballroom, you could tell this wasn’t your ordinary event. We spotted some celebs, like Debbie Harry and Andy Cohen, which added to the party vibe. As ‘80s new wave music blasted over the speakers, everyone in the room was ready to see the main attraction.
And then the lights went down. Kicking things off was original MTV VJ Mark Goodman, who reminded the crowd of the importance of The Go-Go’s and brought out acclaimed Broadway director Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening, American Idiot) to tell us a little bit about Head Over Heels.
According to Mayer, the musical is an inspired mash-up of posh and punk, set to the iconic pop music of The Go-Go's—including the hit songs "We Got The Beat," "Our Lips Are Sealed," "Vacation," and many more. The story is an unpredictable Elizabethan romp about a royal family, who, in order to save their beloved kingdom, embarks on an extravagant journey where they are faced with mistaken identities, love triangles, sexual awakening, and self-discovery.
After Goodman and Mayer got the crowd hyped up for Head Over Heels, the five women took the stage and picked up their instruments. Lead singer Belinda Carlisle, looking awesome at age 59, grabbed the mic as the opening chords of “Vacation” started to play. We were freaking out, and suddenly we were all kids again listening to our Go-Go’s cassettes in our rooms.
The band sounded amazing, and Carlisle’s voice was just as we’d remembered it. The women ran through some of their greatest songs, including the solo hit for Carlisle, “Mad About You,” their cover of the 1966 song “Cool Jerk,” and of course, “Head Over Heels.” Before they finished up their set with “We Got the Beat,” guitarist and singer Jane Wiedlin made sure the audience knew that Head Over Heels is coming to Broadway at the Hudson Theatre, with performances starting June 23, 2018.
And that was it. We were exhausted from dancing and screaming and snapping pics of this incredibly fun event. The music of The Go-Go’s is high-energy and makes you want to dance. We can’t wait to see how the creative team of Head Over Heels works the music into this brand-new musical.