The Blue Man Group might get way more hype at Universal Studios Florida, but it’s a blues-related show of another sort there that’s my favorite.
Don’t miss the Blues Brothers stage show when you’re at Universal’s original Orlando theme park. The show is only about 15 minutes long, but it comes included with your Universal ticket, requires no reservation, and is a lot of action-packed fun.
The Blue Brothers are the black-suited, porkpie-hatted, cool-talking, sunglass-wearing duo created by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd of Saturday Night Live fame.
Jake Blues (Belushi) and Elwood Blues (Aykroyd) started out as a musical skit on a 1976 SNL show. Audiences loved the act and the catchy tunes so much that the Blue Brothers made two more SNL appearances and went on to cut an album (Briefcase Full of Blues) in 1978 and then to star in a full-length movie (The Blues Brothers) in 1980.
The act lives on five times every day in the New York-themed section of Universal. Actors portraying Jake and Elwood (one short and pudgy, the other tall, leggy and slim) show up a few minutes ahead of time in a beat-up old police car with a huge speaker on the roof.
A sax player starts off the show with a jazzy number on a small stage along a faux street-side eatery. Mabel the waitress then pops outside to belt out a vocal number.
That’s the cue for Jake and Elwood to pull up, hit the stage and get the street full of gathered park-goers rolling in Blues Brothers hits.
The song lineup varies, except for the group’s biggest hit, “Soul Man,” which caps every show.
Some actors look more like Jake and Elwood than others, but they all have the shtick mastered – right down to Elwood’s high-steppin’ moves and harmonica riffs and Jake leading the audience in a dance parade down the street.
You’ll find a variety of street performances like this at all of the Orlando theme parks, but this is one that’s not losing steam after at least 25 years of daily shows.
I’ve seen it 10 or 12 times now, and it always makes me smile.