One of the most highly anticipated shows of the 2013-2014 KeyBank Broadway Series has been “Flash Dance”. There has been a tremendous amount of “buzz” about this show ever since it was announced. Last night found an excited sold out crowd in the Palace Theatre waiting as the second hand ticked towards 7:35 p.m. They were not to be disappointed. In the Broadway tradition, the touring company of “Flash Dance” is terrific. It has all the elements of a true Broadway smash hit.
The set relies on quite a bit of video “magic” to set the scenes, the costuming is properly dated (including the “big hair” from the 80’s), the cast is able to take a rather trite story line (with the all too familiar happy ending) and infuse it with verve and energy that sweeps the audience along on a fun ride, the singing is superb, the dancing exciting and the theatrical timing of light, music and sound (so vital to this particular production) is perfect.
The story is about Alex Owens (Sydney Morton) who works as a welder in a Pittsburgh steel mill. Nick Hurley (Corey Mach), whose family owns the mill, is trying to woo Alex (who wants nothing to do with him).
Alex works the steel mill during the day and at night dances at a local club. Her dream is to attend the Shipley Dance Academy and become a “legitimate” dancer. Encouraged by her mentor, Hanna (a former dancer in her youth), the girls at the club and Nick she turns in an application for an audition. Complications arise when Nick is forced by his family to lay off workers at the mill, Alex’s best friend Gloria leaves the “safe club” to dance at a strip club down the road after her boy friend takes off to New York to be a stand-up comedian, Alex begins to doubt her dancing ability and she finds out that Nick has bought her audition at the Academy.
“Flashdance The Musical” is the stage adaptation of the smash 1983 movie of the same name and premiered Theatre Royal Plymouth in 2008 followed by a tour of the UK. Of special note with this production is Corey Mach who plays Nick Hurley. Corey grew up in Strongsville and is an alumni of Baldwin-Wallace University.
The cast consists of Sydney Morton as Alex and Corey Mach as Nick are Alison Ewing as Tess, Ginna Claire Mason as Gloria, DeQuina Moore as Kiki, Madeleine Dohertyas Hannah, David R. Gordon as Jimmy, Steve Greenstein as Harry and Christian Whelan in the role of C.C.
Also on stage will be Erika Amato, Matt Anctil, Ashley Arcement, Mackenzie Bell, Derek Carley, Ryan Carlson, Whitney Cooper, Haley Hannah, Charlene Hoffman, Jarvis McKinley, Doreen Montavlo, Austin Owen, Katelyn Prominski, Angelo Soriano, Lawrence E. Street, Kamille Upshaw and Blake Zelesnikar.
The show is a marvel of great theatrical entertainment. There are plenty of show stopping tunes that are done extremely well. The orchestra fills the theater with vibrant sound that perfectly complements the singers without drowning them out. The lighting sets the mood and the video backdrop displays add action and motion to the scenes. The scene transitions are done quickly and smoothly. There are also some split second costume changes that are a delight to watch. Overall, it was an extremely enjoyable evening of musical theater.
Beefs and Flubs: There was a problem with the mikes on a couple of occasions that was a bit annoying. I also felt that each of the two acts could have eliminated a song or two. Some of the songs just did not seem to fit into the story line and made the show run a bit long.
Prude Alert: There is some light profanity as well as scantily clad women portraying bar and strip club dancers. Nothing really shocking, but if you are sensitive to such a situation then you need to make a choice about seeing this one.
Shooting From the Lip (My Last Words): “Flashdance” is one of those shows that we wait the entire season to come around. It is a superb evening of musical escapism that is the hallmark of great Broadway type shows even though it is not a true “Broadway Production”. In spite of the fact that it is a bit farfetched and weak as far as story line, it is the superb cast that pulls off the exceptional magic. I fear that tickets may be scarce for this production. If you have not already ordered your tickets I suggest you do so without fail.
This year is the 30th anniversary of the original Paramount Pictures film that became a culture phenomenon with its Grammy Award-winning soundtrack. The show features such standards from the movie as “Flashdance – What a Feeling,” “Maniac,” “Gloria,” “Manhunt,” “I Love Rock & Roll.” In addition to these hits, 16 brand new songs have been written for the stage with music by Robbie Roth and lyrics by Robert Cary and Robbie Roth.
“Flashdance – The Musical” is directed and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo with book by Robert Cary and Tom Hedley (who was the original screenplay co-writer along with Joe Eszerhas).
Tickets are on sale now for “Flashdance”, through April 13, 2014, at PlayhouseSquare’s Palace Theatre.
Tickets start at just $10 at playhousesquare.org, 216-241-6000 or the PlayhouseSquare Ticket Office. Groups of 15 or more call group sales at 216-640-8600.
Performance times are Tuesday through Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
“Flashdance – The Musical” is part of the 2013-14 KeyBank Broadway Series. For more information on KeyBank, www.KeyBank.com.
This performance engagement is a part of the Smart Seats program at PlayhouseSquare that offers smart entertainment at a smart price. For more information on Smart Seats, visit playhousesquare.org/smartseats.
To enrich the experience of the theatergoers, PlayhouseSquare presents free Broadway Buzz events to complement KeyBank Broadway Series shows. Broadway Buzz Pre-Show Talks, providing behind-the-scenes insight, are held in the Idea Center at PlayhouseSquare one hour prior to each performance of “Flashdance”.
On Thursday evenings, guests are invited to stay in the theater for a post-show chat with members of the cast. Broadway Buzz events also are available for on-demand listening at playhousesquare.org or by subscribing to our podcast, and are made possible by the generous donors and sponsors that support PlayhouseSquare’s not-for-profit mission.
PlayhouseSquare encourages all guests to “Plan Your Visit” ahead of time by visiting playhousesquare.org and clicking the “Plan Your Visit” tab where directions, parking information, dining options, lodging, ticketing policies and other helpful information designed to enhance guest experiences at PlayhouseSquare exist. Whether their visit is the first or one hundred and first, PlayhouseSquare is committed to making guest experiences both as memorable and hassle free as possible.
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