BWW Reviews: Energetic and Fun Production of WE WILL ROCK YOU Plays the Fox Theatre

BWW Reviews: Energetic and Fun Production of WE WILL ROCK YOU Plays the Fox Theatre

If there's any "jukebox" musical that should be wildly over the top it would have to be one connected with the 70's and 80's rock group Queen. It just makes sense. Their music always had a sort of "larger than life", heroic quality to it to begin with. So, it's only natural that We Will Rock You (book by Ben Elton), the stage adaptation, delivers a perfectly cheesy science fiction plot that forecasts a dystopian future where instruments and composers have become outlawed. With a thumping ten-piece band pumping out the score, this amusing and undeniably wacky production is rockin' the Fabulous Fox Theatre.

The story follows Galileo Figaro (an appealing Brian Justin Crum), a young man who has auditory flashbacks that reveal long-hidden compositions from the past. Naturally, he's a threat to the state in the person of the Killer Queen (a bitchy and bombastic Jacqueline B. Arnold), and her sinister minion, Khashoggi (a slimy P. J. Griffith). Along the way he encounters a love interest he names Scaramouche (a plucky Ruby Lewis), and bohemian fellow sympathizers Brit (Jared Zirilli) and Oz (Erica Peck). Will mayhem ensue? Will good triumph over evil? Of course it will. But, it's a nutty blast getting there all the same.

Ben Elton's direction keeps things tongue-in-cheek and moving along at a brisk clip. This particular touring version has a few changes here and there, and a lot of the cultural references have been updated as well. The staging and choreography by Arlene Phillips allows for an immediate distinction to be drawn between the robotic ruling class and the rebel bohemians. The lighting and video projections by Willie Williams, along with Mark Fisher, add to the overall mood, flashy or colorfully brash as need be.

We Will Rock You is an energetic production that showcases a couple dozen Queen songs couched in the type of story that should actually appeal to their fans. It's far from perfect, but it is good, loud fun. We Will Rock You continues at the Fox Theatre through March 30, 2014.

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Chris Gibson Chris has been active in the local theatre scene for over 30 years. In addition to his acting work, he's also contributed as a director, writer and composer. Though, initially a film buff, he grew tired of the sanitized, PG-13 rated blockbusters that were being continually shoved down his throat by the studios. An opportunity to review theatre in St. Louis has grown exponentially with the sudden explosion of venues and talent in the region. He now finds himself obsessed with witnessing those precious, electric moments that can only happen live, on stage.

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