Broadway In Chicago is happy to introduce “Short and Sweet,” a quick view of our shows courtesy of Diana Martinez, who will give you the lowdown on Broadway In Chicago productions from the perspective of an audience member. Diana has more than 25 years of experience as an entertainment executive, most recently as President of The Second City. She has directed and produced over 40 live Broadway musical theatre shows and has presented more than 350 world-class Broadway national tours, dance, headline comedians and concert. We hope you enjoy this quick insight into our shows, and since this is all about our audience, share your own thoughts with us in the comments below.
Grab the girls and go see Flashdance the Musical
I am an admitted product of the 80’s and was a huge fan of the original movie. (Confession: I might have even cut and permed my hair to look like Jennifer Beals in 1983) Honestly… Can you believe it is the 30th Anniversary of Flashdance?! If you are anything like me, it just makes you feel really old. But this fantastic music will bring you back to a wonderful place and time within moments. On opening night, when the first few notes of the theme song, Flashdance played at the top of the show – the audience erupted in applause.
The musical stage version is premiering here in Chicago at The Cadillac Palace before it’s Broadway debut and has a great foundation with hit songs from the movie including the Academy Award‐winning title song “Flashdance / What a Feeling,” “Maniac,” “Gloria,” “Manhunt” and “I Love Rock & Roll. This stage version also includes over a dozen new songs. I imagine that some of these songs may be cut before the Broadway debut, so try to see this whole version while you can.
The book which is written by Robert Cary and Tom Hedley (co-writers of the original screenplay) stays true to the movie with some fantastic fresh one-liners sprinkled in that provide great honest laughs like: “People in LA don’t need talent, that’s why I’m going there.” Delivered perfectly by the adorable and incredibly talented Kelly Felthous in the role of the perky sidekick Gloria. The direction and choreography by veteran Sergio Trujillo (who choreographed Jersey Boys) really shines right out of the gate and provides great transitions, which keeps the pace moving quickly. He even sprinkles in a little hip hop appealing to a 2013 audience.
Jillian Mueller, in the staring role of Alex has the looks and moxie that keep you rooting for her. She hits all the right moments and plays the person conflict of sarcasm and wit covering up her insecurities believably. It seems that director Mueller wanted to portray the dance club where the girls work and the supporting women who dance at the club more true to life in this version, rather than the glamorized movie version, which adds a new dimension to the texture of the stage show. The women dance and sing “Maniac,” “Gloria” and “Manhunt” which is not an easy feat. What has not changed is the infamous iconic dance when Alex poses under a spray of water onto her beautiful silhouette– the audience started whistling, clapping and yelling with enthusiasm and gratitude for the tribute to the best moment of the movie and now the show.
Warning ladies, this show may make you want to rip the collar out of your favorite old sweatshirt, dig out your Flashdance cassette tape and jog in place or dance around the living room. This show is the perfect ladies night out. So gather the girls, grab a glass of wine and go see Flashdance the Musical and reminisce.
Flashdance the Muical runs through August 18 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. The show runs two hours and thirty minutes which includes an intermission. Tickets can be purchased here.