Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

THEATRE REVIEW: Flashdance the Musical

Despite the differences from its cinematic predecessor, Flashdance the Musical is fun, flashy, and brash.

By: Sarah Bauder

Published: May 30th, 2014 in Culture » Stage » Reviews

THEATRE REVIEW: Flashdance the Musical

Following in the footsteps of other beloved, iconic ‘80’s films such as Dirty Dancing and Footloose, the 1983 classic Flashdance finally has its turn on the stage. Like the aforesaid other two movies, it prompts a sense of giddy satisfaction. However, if you consider yourself a fan of the film, be forewarned that Flashdance the Musical is a completely different entity unto itself. The cinematic version focuses mainly on Alex Owens (Jennifer Beals), a welder by day, exotic dancer by night who dreams of gaining admittance into a prestigious ballet school.

Flashdance the Musical, which was written by Robert Cary and Tom Hedley (who co-wrote the film) contains a myriad of subplots involving other characters – job cuts at the steel mill, white-collar Nick (Corey Mach) attempting to fraternize with his blue-collar employees, Alex’s friend from the club, Gloria (Ginna Claire Mason), who dreams of being an actress, Gloria’s boyfriend Jimmy (David R. Gordon) who wants to be a comic, et al.

Sydney Morton and Corey Mach as Alex and Nick

Alex (played superbly by “triple-threat”, Sydney Morton) is tough and gritty, as opposed to Jennifer Beals’ doe-eyed, introspective version. Other standout performances include Alex’s mentor Hannah (Madeleine Doherty), and Kiki (the supremely talented Kyra Da Costa) who quite frankly possesses the best vocals in the entire production.

Sergio Trujillo’s direction and choreography, coupled with Klara Zieglerova’s set design, embody perfectly the oft times tawdry nature that was the 1980’s. Regarding the music (by Robbie Roth), fear not, as several beloved numbers from the film version make it into the production. Lest we forget, there could be no Flashdance without “What a Feeling” – It did win the Oscar for Best Original Song, after all. Even the original songs composed for the stage production, have a decidedly ‘80’s feel to them.

Apropos of other iconic Flashdance film moment present in the show, there was a rousing collective cheer from the audience when Alex gets doused in water whilst seated on that chair. Likewise, the dance school audition was met with equal applause.

Despite the differences from its cinematic predecessor, Flashdance the Musical is fun, flashy, and brash. Flashdance is at Ed Mirvish Theatre (244 Victoria Street, Toronto) until June 8, 2014.

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