FLASHDANCE The Musical
by Tom Hedley, Robert Cary and Robie Roth
Flashdance: The Musical is an adaptation for the scene of the movie, of which the principle song What A Feeling won an Oscar for the best song in 1983. The title refers to a genre of jazz dance, popular between the 20s and 30s of the last century, that combines dance with acrobatics. Directed by Adrian Lyne, the movie influenced the 80s cinematography for the innovative choice of inserting some sequences filmed in “video clip” style. The musical, written by Tom Hedley and Robert Cary, made its debut at the Theatre Royal of Plymouth, England, in July 2008, with choreography by Arlene Phillips, the music by Robbie Roth, and the lyrics by Robbie Roth and Robert Cary. This version was followed by another new production in 2010 for the London West End and during the season 2013-2014 the musical was taken to Broadway. During 2014-15 it toured the United States.
Eighteen year-old Alex Owens works as labourer during the day and as a dancer at night in a nightclub, cultivating her dream to join the Dance Academy of Pittsburgh. She trains nonstop, but when she goes to Academy to sign up for an audition, she gets discouraged and gives up. One night, in the nightclub where she performs, she meets Nick Hurley, her boss in the factory. They like each other, but Alex does not believe it would be correct to start a relationship with her boss. During the next few days an ambiguous character, Carlos, tries to convince Alex and her friend Gloria to go and work in his nightclub. The girls refuse, but only the intervention of Nick makes Carlos stop, by ??? then threats. Alex then starts hanging out with Nick and shortly afterwards they find themselves in a passionate love story. Meanwhile, Alex finds out that she has been accepted for an audition at the Academy and despite thousands of doubts she attends it. Even if the emotion makes her fail her first step, she restarts with courage and launches into her enthralling choreography: a mixture of classic, modern and break dancing that gains her admission into the Dance Academy.
The director Daryl Branch (The Beatles, Guys & Dolls Jr., Hamlet, Grease, Fame, Shrek Jr.) transfers onto the theatrical scene the most intense themes of the famous musical film Flashdance of 1983: the passion for dance, friendship, loyalty… the dreams of life. Topics that touch closely the heart of the audience and make that allows them to easily identify with the main characters. For the young audience it will be easy, in fact, to recognise immediately each character, thanks to the modern and iconic costumes that make the show unforgettable. The acting style with which the mother tongue actors, singers, and dancers perform, facilitates more the comprehension of the events. Set designs on three levels recreate the urban surrounding where the story takes place, be it during the day or the night. In the three spaces the performers perform electrifying and original choreographies… even the famous scene with the waterfall is performed, in an ironic and surprising way, with the complicity of lightning effects realised with thoughtful consideration. The enthralling songs, as always performed live, based on one of the most famous soundtracks of the 80s, make Flashdance the newest and the most awaited musical of the season!
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