The Go-Go's 'Farewell Tour'

The Go-Go's (L-R) Jane Wiedlin, Gina Schock, Belinda Carlisle and Charlotte Caffey (Photo credit: Carl Timpone)

New Go-Go's Musical Opening In San Francisco Before Heading To Broadway

Melissa Culross
April 01, 2018 - 10:45 pm

(KCBS Radio) - Just about four decades ago, The Go-Go's emerged from the Los Angeles punk scene and became Rock & Roll ground breakers. As KCBS Radio's Melissa Culross reports, their music is featured in a new musical that's headed to Broadway after a run in San Francisco.

There was a time when The Go-Go's were derided by some critics but they became one of the most successful all-female bands in Rock & Roll history. Now more than 35 years after their first album topped the charts and went double platinum, they can add Broadway songwriters to their resumes.

Go-Go's guitarist and songwriter Jane Wiedlin says the band members were approached in 2011 about there music being used in a new Elizabethan musical.

"The original writer Jeff Whitty found 'Arcadia'. A story written in the 1580’s,"  Wiedlin said. "... Jeff came to us and said 'Do you approve of me moving forward with this idea?,’ you know... we said ‘Heck yes!’”

The show is called Head Over Heels and it premiered at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2016. Described as "a tantalizing odyssey wrought with mistaken identities, jealous lovers, romance and scandal," by the New York Daily News, the musical features the band's hit songs, “Our Lips are Sealed," “We Got the Beat” and "Vacation" and set to the story of Arcadia. Written by the English poet and scholar Sir Phillip Sidney, centers around the story of Basilius, the Duke of Arcadia and his two daughters.

Cast member Alexandra Socha who's in her 20s, didn't realize just how familiar she already was with The Go-Go's music. "I knew who they were," said Socha. "'We Got The Beat', I totally love that song. Then as we were rehearsing and they kept singing new songs, I went ‘Wait, they wrote that one? That's one of their songs?' like I had no idea."

Cast member Bonnie Milligan says the show may tell a story from the 16th century and use music that mostly was written in the late 70's and early 80's. But it will resonate with audiences today.

"Overall what our show is is a message of love and acceptance and finding your true self. Whatever that may be." Milligan said.

Head Over Heels is directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer, best known for bringing Green Day's "American Idiot" to Broadway, as well as "Spring Awakening" and "Hedwig and the Angry Inch". The show also lists actress Gwyneth Paltrow among the co-producers of the musical.

Head Over Heels begins previews at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco on April 10th and heads to Broadway this summer.

Celebrating their 40th anniversary, The Go-Go's are scheduled to perform at The Fox Theatre in Oakland on Thursday, June 28th.