WE WILL ROCK YOU National Tour Plays Academy of Music, Now thru 1/19
The worldwide smash hit 'rock theatrical', Queen and Ben Elton's We Will Rock You, built around 24 of Queen's biggest hits, opens at the Academy of Music today, Jan. 14 - 19.. Part of BROADWAY PHILADELPHIA, presented by the KimMel Center for the Performing Arts and The Shubert Organization, We Will Rock You is produced by Queen Theatrical Productions, Tribeca Theatrical Productions, Phil Mcintyre Entertainment and NETworks Presentations. The official press opening is tonight, January 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets ranging from $20 to $105.50 are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 215-731-3333, online at kimmelcenter.org/broadway, at the KimMel Center box office, Broad & Spruce streets. (open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) or at the Academy of Music box office, Broad & Locust Streets, (open during performances only). Groups of 20 or more will receive discounts for select performances by calling 215-790-5883 or 866-276-2947.
Performances include: Tuesday - Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m.; Friday & Saturday evenings at 8 p.m.; Sunday evening at 6:30 p.m., matinees Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.
This hilarious, multi-award-winning and record-breaking phenomenon is created by celebrated British comedian and writer Ben Elton (TV's "MR. Bean" and "The Young Ones"), and boasts a fantastic score of Queen's biggest songs including "Another One Bites The Dust", "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", "We Are The Champions," "Bohemian Rhapsody" and, of course, "We Will Rock You."
"Apart from addressing the broader social and technological changes, I also get the chance to update moments of topical humor," says Elton. New additions to the show include the most current pop culture references (yes, there is a Miley Cyrus twerking joke!) and the addition of a new song, You're My Best Friend.
"There is a scene where our two leads run away and discuss their loneliness and isolation," Elton says. "In 2013, it seemed ridiculous for two kids to discuss friendship without reference to Facebook. Young people now live in a world where it's possible to have many virtual 'friends' and 'likes' and yet still be entirely isolated and alone. The new dialogue with this changed emphasis brought the song You're My Best Friend into the show."
Tribeca producer Jane Rosenthal says, "With Ben's updates, it's almost a new show. However, in some ways, it was already ahead of its time when it opened in 2002. The overarching theme is a demand for individualism and intimacy in a world where everything is downloadable."
We Will Rock You takes place in a future age on a planet once called Earth that is now controlled by a mighty corporation. Globalization is complete. Individuality is taboo. Everyone watches the same movies, wears the same clothes and thinks the same thoughts. Music is generated by the corporation's computers, rock music is unheard and all musical instruments are banned. The hope of breaking free rests with an unlikely resistance - an alliance of rebel Bohemians, waiting for a hero to lead the battle to bring the power of rock back to the people.
"This show is all about legend," says Ben Elton. "We take the legend of Queen and create our own fantastical story of young kids battling the mighty corporation who wants to suppress their individuality and their love of music. They need a hero who can help them in their struggle, and we have two - the dreamer Galileo, and the sassy rock chick Scaramouche. Guess who ends up winning?"
"Creating the show with Ben was very much a three-way thing," says Roger Taylor. "It was great because he was a pleasure to work with and because he has such a fertile mind. He never stops churning out ideas."
Brian May adds, "The amazing bonus is that Ben's script subtly works as a metaphor too. People definitely come out of the theatre feeling that in a strange way they now know us, Queen, and our struggle, our journey."