Flashdance -- The Musical
Recently, I have become a little concerned about Broadway's ability to create new and innovative material. So when I was asked to review "Flashdance -- the Musical," I must admit I had to practically contain an eye roll.
This show is based on the 1983 movie of the same name. Starring the beautiful Jennifer Beals, "Flashdance" (the movie) is a sort of love story about a sexy welder from the wrong side of the tracks who dreams of becoming a professional dancer. Through a catchy soundtrack, not to mention off-the-shoulder sweatshirts and legwarmers, the plucky Alex (played by Beal), makes her way to love and her dream-come-true of dance stardom.
The musical is based on the same foundational aspects of the movie, and is a lot alike in that it is long on song and dance, short on story. While I am still concerned about the originality of Broadway shows, "Flashdance -- the Musical" does offer elements of entertainment worth mentioning.
Though I thought there were too many musical numbers crammed into this production, the talent of the cast more than made up for the excess. A tour de force of song and dance, Emily Padgett, who played the main character of Alex Owens, had a lot of entertainment responsibility on her scantily clad shoulders.
She has many major song and dance numbers (some reminiscent of the movie -- remember the water scene?), which she performs with such energy, sex appeal and unabashed talent that I wondered how she was able to maintain such vigor. I'm not sure of your background Emily, but keep up the good work!
Matthew Hydzik, who plays Alex's love interest Nick Hurley, has quite a few pivotal, vocally challenging numbers to pull off as well. He does so with the passion, sincerity and charm he so aptly portrays through his character.
Alex's gal-pal dancers, played by DeQuina Moore (Kiki) -- great pipes; Rachelle Rak (Tess) -- girl can move; and Kelly Felthous (Gloria) -- a complete talent package, bring additional flair to the production.
Jo Ann Cunningham, who plays Alex's aging dancing mentor, Hannah, is a comic breath of fresh air. Her character represents the essential turning point and support that helps Alex reach her dreams and Cunningham plays her brilliantly. I appreciated all the background acting and especially dance talents of the other actors as well -- like a radiant sunset, you are noticed.
As I mentioned before, the show itself is a little long on song and not necessarily my cup of tea; it is, however, worth seeing if just for the talented individuals who bring it to life. And if you did see the movie and enjoy the music, taking a stroll down memory lane is always a fun ride.
If you do go see the show, for goodness sake, turn your phone off. If you can't go at least until intermission before checking your Facebook account, then stay home...yes, I'm talking to you annoying lady sitting next to me, whose intermittent phone light did nothing but help drag me out of the fantasy of the show and into your non-important life.
But I digress; go see "Flashdance -- the Musical" (sans phone) for an entertaining romp of an evening.
"Flashdance -- the Musical" runs through Feb. 10 at the Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree Street in Atlanta. For info or tickets, call 404-881-2100 or visit www.foxtheatre.org.