Not Just Another Steel Town Girl On A Saturday Night
The 80s were a disposable cultural era for many. Other’s hold on to it as if it should be the most cherished decade of modern times.
There’s something incredibly curious and soul stirring for Flashdance – The Musical to come along and allow a mainstream generation reflect on that which will never come back again. For historical slummers, it’s all here. The show keeps all the big numbers from the film, such as “Manhunt,” “Maniac,” and of course the highly addictive mega hit “What a Feeling.”
If that weren’t enough for your teased to the hilt hair, it then adds additional songs written expressly for the stage that are truly theatrical in content and sound making the score totally cohesive with nothing sounding out of place. Add to this a knockout group of performers and leg warmer busting choreography and direction by Tony Award winner Sergio Trujillo, and here is a musical that should not be dismissed as a cheesy movie knock off.
The classic tale unfolds in Pittsburgh, PA where the audience is introduced to Alex Owens. Her real passion is dance but for now she works the mill days to make ends meet while at night performs at a dive of a club run by Harry. When Nick Hurley, grandson to the steel mill founding father, becomes a supervisor things start to heat up.
He has to justify job cuts to appease a discontented board of directors. Andy is one of those affected by the downsizing. He is married with kids and will even take part time if necessary to keep some money coming in. This does not go over with Alex, and Nick ends up doing something unprecedented for an executive.
Part of the story concentrates on Alex’s passion for dance. With the encouragement of her childhood dance teacher, Hannah, who is physically frail but mentally strong, and a spirited nurse named Louise, Alex goes for an audition at Shipley Academy, an exclusive dance school.
Transforming a movie to the stage is a lot easier than it sounds. Most often the best attempt falls short of playgoer expectations. This is not the case with Flashdance – The Musical where standout performances and throbbing choreography saves the day.
Dreams unfulfilled ‘can cut you like a knife’ when ‘the gift becomes the fire’ deep inside. But for this talent touring troupe, they’re dancing like they’ve never danced before.
Review by Jennifer Wilson