Cast leads Emily Padgett (Alex Owens) and Matthew Hydzik (Nick Hurley) exercise their powerful voices within the Mahalia Jackson Theatre, where they are currently performing the show through Sunday. Other company members deliver on the show's greatest strength, mixing skilled solos, duets, and trios with nostalgic 80's dance.
The story premise is simple enough: an 18-year-old steel worker dreams of being a successful dancer. What will inspire audiences is the skilled performances from the whole cast. Reminiscent of such “concert” musicals as Jersey Boys and Mamma Mia!, 'FLASHDANCE' influences audience participation by including favoured 80's hits like “Maniac,” “I Love Rock & Roll,” and the title's theme song, “What A Feeling.”
As production stage manager Mary MacLeod states, FLASHDANCE is a “feel-good musical.” It is meant to drive your need to sing and dance along. Which is actually highly encouraged by the cast members themselves. In a news report from WGNO, performers Kelly Felthous (Gloria) and David R. Gordon (Jimmy) encourage audience participation:
“A crowd [in my opinion] can make or break a performance. We want you to be involved,” Felthous says. “We feed off that energy.”
Gordon adds, “We live for a live audience, that's why we're standing up there eight shows a week.”
If that's not enough to convince you, consider the 'flashy' speed at which the actors' make their costume changes on set. Done artistically to complement the story as it progresses, the audience will applaud many of the production's costume designs.
Special effects and disco dance strobes are also used throughout the performances, allowing for a visual sense of absorption in the club scenes. Prior to intermission, fans of the film will cheer at inclusion of Alex Owens' iconic water scene.
It's a party! And there are five chances left to join in before the tour moves on. Tickets, as low as $32, can be purchased through mahaliajacksontheatre.com, or at their box office location at 1419 Basin St. New Orleans, LA 70116.
Pick your tickets up today, as spots are limited and selling fast. But please remember, this show contains mature content and is not recommended for younger audiences.