Now that Pat Benatar and her husband and musical partner Neil Giraldo have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they’re focusing on their pet project: Invincible, a musical featuring their songs. But if you see the show, don’t expect to hear much of Benatar’s signature hit.
The show, Invincible, had its official premiere Friday night in Beverly Hills, where it will run through December 18. It’s a reimagining of Romeo & Juliet, and in addition to hits like “Heartbreaker,” “We Belong,” “Love Is a Battlefield” and “Shadows of the Night,” it also features some lesser-known songs, all of which have been, Giraldo tells Variety, “twisted…a little bit, to have more fun with it.”
“We didn’t wanna do a jukebox musical with the exact same songs the way they were,” he tells Variety.
As for “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” probably Benatar’s best-known song, she tells Variety, “We have one chorus of that that comes in the middle of another song, only as an homage to everyone who’s gonna go crazy if we don’t have it, but it’s literally in there for, like, 10 seconds.”
As previously reported, Benatar has stopped performing the song at her concerts as well, out of respect to the families of mass shooting victims.
Benatar, Giraldo and their collaborator Bradley Bredeweg hope to eventually bring their musical to Broadway. For a former musical theater kid like Benatar, the show is a “full-circle” moment, while Bredeweg says it’s fitting that these songs are retelling Shakespeare‘s famous tale of star-crossed lovers.
“Everyone used to say they were considered the Romeo and Juliet of the rock ’n’ roll industry,” he tells the New York Times of Benatar and Giraldo. “Everyone tried to break them up at every step along the way.”