BWW Review: The Gateway's FLASHDANCE, THE MUSICAL
The Gateway theatre company's thrilling production of Flashdance, The Musical, is truly an electric way to end their busy Summer season. The sensational regional premiere, running through September 15th at the Patchogue Theatre, is excellently directed by Keith Andrews and boasts an absolutely superb cast. And though it is based on the famous 1983 movie, fans of the movie (like myself!) will notice several changes and will be very pleased with the stage incarnation.
Set in Pittsburgh, the tale centers on Alex Owens, strongly portrayed by Long Island native Julia Macchio. Currently, Alex is a welder by day and dances at a local club at night. We follow Alex as she - albeit hesitantly - attempts to gain a spot in the the prestigious Shipley Dance Academy, a longtime dream of hers.
Ms. Macchio is outstanding as Alex reprising the role from the international tour. I dare say that if the show ever makes it to Broadway, I could definitely see Ms. Macchio leading the cast. A quiet confidence and a beautiful voice make her a natural for the role. Alex falls for Nick, wonderfully portrayed by Anthony Crouchelli - in his Gateway debut - and I have to say that Ms. Macchio and Mr. Crouchelli make such a sweet team. Amanda Tong is also fantastic as Alex's friend Gloria. She - Gloria - has a rough time and you really root for her throughout the production. In truth, I could go on and on and on about the entire cast as they are all extraordinary.
And the clever creative team is also top-notch. Brittany Loesch's set is well done including mostly movable pieces for seamless scene changes. This is enhanced with Doug Harry's lighting and the incredible live orchestra headed up by Andrew Halie Austin. With the band, the familiar songs, and Joe Greene's spot-on costumes, you can't help but reminisce about the 1980's. And to top off the night, there is a fun dance party during the finale.
And so, Flashdance, The Musical, is certainly a special treat to end this fantastic - and quick - Summer season. A brilliant cast and a nod to the 1980's make this a fun night of theatre.
Flashdance, The Musical is presented by The Gateway at the The Patchogue Theatre through September 15th. For more information and to purchase tickets, please call (631) 286-1133 or visit www.thegateway.org
Music by Robbie Roth, Lyrics by Robbie Roth & Robert Cary, Book by Tom Hedley & Robert Cary, Direction and Choreography by Keith Andrews, Music Direction by Andrew Haile Austin, Associate Director/Associate Choreographer is Vincent Ortega, Lighting Design by Doug Harry, Set Design by Brittany Loesch, Original Dance Arrangements by Jim Abbot, Orchestrations by Phillip Edwards, Music & Vocal Arrangements by Jason Howland, Costumes by Joe Greene, Stage Management by James O. Hansen
Starring Julia Macchio as Alex, Anthony Crouchelli as Nick, Amanda Tong as Gloria, LaQuet Sharnell Pringle as Kiki, Steve Greenstein as Harry, Patrick LaValle as Andy, Danielle Marie Gonzales as Tess, Diane Findlay as Hannah, Ryan Williams as C.C., Vince Ortega as Joe, Erin Fish as Wilde, Chris Collins-Pisano as Jimmy, and Amanda Finch as Louise with Kelsey Beckert, Chaz Feuerstein, Jordan Chin, Taylor Habershaw, Zach Eisenberg, Wilfredo Munoz, Delaney Love, Taylor Pearlstein, and Sarah Gold