The exuberant -and loud –We Will Rock You is now in Philadelphia through Sunday and those who can lip sync songs and know most chords of the rock band Queen’s music, are sure to enjoy this theatrical and creative show. What I liked most about this show, which opened last night in Philadelphia, was the live band that is set behind the ensemble of talented performers. The musicians are fabulous. They provided the amazing soundtrack for a musical whose plot zigzagged between a futuristic corporate dictatorship who shuns creativity and a movement of ‘Bohemians’ who are searching for a return to Rock and Roll’s roots. I found the storyline a bit hard to follow but it seemed to come together as the show progressed.
Some of the songs in the show will seem very familiar, while other Queen songs may be obscure. Some renditions are very good, while some left me pondering why they were sung with different arrangements and in situations that had little to do with the verses of the songs.
If one is considering the show to see a Queen cover band, this isn’t what We Will Rock You is. The show uses the changing niches in music as a metaphor, in my opinion, to pay homage to a revolutionary band whose footprint on the American music scene is indelible. I liked the show, I loved the music, and it prompted me to scour YouTube this morning to see original videos with Freddie Mercury with Queen belting out the songs I adore so much. We Will Rock You is entertaining, and features a cast that's talented, both front and center, and behind the scenes.
The show is staged at the beautiful Academy of Music through Sunday, January 19. Visit www.kimmelcenter.org/broadway for more information and tickets.