‘Rocktopia’ sets Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown dates

Journey, Queen, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin and U2.

Mozart, Beethoven, Handel and Tchaikovsky.

The melding of these giants of rock and classical music is the promise of “Rocktopia,” a concert production that after enjoying a run on Broadway is taking to the road.

As someone who enjoys many instances when classical and rock have been welded together, I’m excited to see “Rocktopia” with three Northeast Ohio dates on a hot-out-of-the-inbox news release from concert promoter Live Nation:

  • 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25 at Akron Civic Theatre
  • 8 p.m. Oct. 26 at Youngstown Powers Memorial Auditorium
  • 8 p.m. Oct. 27 at The KeyBank State Theatre at Playhouse Square.

States the news release:

“Created through the unique vision of vocalist and recording artist Rob Evan (Broadway: ‘Les Miserables,’ ‘Jekyll & Hyde,’ Trans-Siberian Orchestra) and Maestro Randall Craig Fleischer (Youngstown and Anchorage Symphony), ‘Rocktopia’ delivers one-of-a-kind, spine-tingling musical arrangements with insanely talented lead vocalists, a five-piece rock band, select members from the New York Contemporary Choir and featured musicians from The Youngstown Symphony Orchestra.”

21-0020_Maestro Randall Craig Fleischer in ROCKTOPIA (credit Matthew Murphy) (1)
Maestro Randall Craig Fleischer in “Rocktopia” (photos by Matthew Murphy)

Here’s a bit more about the on-stage talent:

“The groundbreaking live concert will be performed by a celebrated, diverse array of rock, Broadway and opera vocalists: Rob Evan; Chloe Lowery (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Chris Botti, Yanni’s Voices); Tony Vincent (Broadway: ‘American Idiot,’ ‘Rent’, NBC’s ‘The Voice’); and featuring Alyson Cambridge (‘The Merry Widow’ at the Met Opera, ‘Madame Butterfly’, ‘La Boheme,’ ‘Show Boat’). The world-class musicians featured include: Grammy- and Emmy Award-nominated violinist Máiréad Nesbitt (‘Celtic Woman,’ ‘Lord of the Dance’) and acclaimed guitarist Tony Bruno (MD & guitar for Enrique Iglesias & Rihanna, ‘America’s Got Talent’).

Tickets for the Northeast Ohio shows go on sale June 15 — 10 a.m. for Akron and Youngstown and 11 a.m. for Cleveland. According to the release, for Akron tickets, go to LiveNation.com; for Youngstown, YoungstownSymphony.com; and for Cleveland, PlayhouseSquare.org.

For more general information about the show, visit Rocktopia.com.

Here’s a sample from a “Rocktopia” special:



Once you have your tickets, the only thing you’ll have decide is whether you’ll be breaking out your air guitar or be air conducting. (I know — obviously you’ll do both.)

Steam of the week: British singer-songwriter Ben Howard is one of my greatest musical discoveries of the last several years. The deluxe version of his 2011 debut, “Every Kingdom,” has become a fave spin of mine, and its follow-up — the more melancholy “I Forget Where We Were” (2014) — has a lot to offer. Unfortunately, life has gotten the way of a true deep-dive listen of his latest, “Noonday Dream,” since it dropped June 1, but I’ve been regularly making it part of my background environment. Just musically, it seems to be even a sadder affair, but it also sounds worth a real exploration. I would expect nothing less than Howard.


Mark Meszoros will travel to Washington, D.C., in the fall to see Ben Howard perform because the musician’s tour has no Northeast Ohio date. Follow him on Twitter @MarkMeszoros. Matthew Murphy

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