Flashdance the Musical had been on the road for quite some time now but had not quite made it to Broadway yet.
The short run at London’s West End and the absence of a cast recording (there is an EP available, though) had me lowering my expectations on the show, however, at the opening night at their Vancouver, BC stop, I was pleasantly surprised at how the show was done and how the audience (including myself) positively responded.
The show did not merely copy the movie but instead, re-worked the characters and plots, which was a very good idea as it will not make you feel that you are just watching a live version of the film, that of which has a stark contrast from the upbeat feel and energy of the show.
The cast were definitely in A-game, with stand out performances by leads, Karli Dinardo and Adam Rennie, as Alex and Nick, respectively, as well as supporting casts Danielle Marie Gonzales, Brianna Marie Bell, Heidi Friese, Patricia Bartlett, Michael Kingston, and Jacob Tischler, among others. Of course, the show could not have been a success without the powerful performance of the ensemble.
Robbie Roth and Robert Cary’s songs accompanied the scenes flawlessly and I’m glad that it did not rely on the movie’s soundtrack to fill up the song list, in fact, it only used about 5 songs from the film – 2 of which did not even appear on the soundtrack.
Choreographed and directed by Jersey Boys and Memphis’ Sergio Trujillo, the dance numbers are very eclectic, ranging from ballet, to break dancing, to pole dancing, and each are choreographed in a way that it contributes to the story and not just showcased for the sake of being showcased.
As for the show’s final number, featuring the show and film’s iconic track, What A Feeling, Karli Dinardo certainly did not disappoint.
The show’s absence on Broadway may not be missed, but I am glad that the show is touring and presenting its potential to cities across North America. If you plan to see it, make sure to leave your knowledge and images from the film out the door and enjoy this fresh take on a dance classic.
Flashdance the Musical continues to run at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver, BC,until November 16 2014. Click here for tickets.