BWW Reviews: FLASHDANCE THE MUSICAL - Wow, 'What a Feeling!'

BWW Review: Flashdance - The Musical
- WOW! - "What a Feeling!!!"
Book by Robert Cary and Tom Hedley
Music by Robbie Roth
Lyrics by Robbie Roth and Robert Cary
Directed and Choreographed by Sergio Trujillo

Feruary 19, 2013 at 7:30 P.M.

WOW! - "What a Feeling!!!"...What a GREAT feeling it was to be transported back in time to the 1980's, at the opening performance of Flashdance - The Musical, now Rockin' Carol Morsani Hall at the Straz Center, through February 24th.
The opening night audience were dancin' in their seats and up on their feet before the company came out for bows! BRAVO!

Flashdance - The Musical, is the stage adaptaion of the 1983 film "Flashdance", which was a huge, worldwide success. The score is outstanding, filled with songs that became TOP TEN smash hits, that left film audiences dancing in the aisles. "What a Feeling", "Maniac", and "Gloria", became the most requested songs on the dance floor, defining an entire generation. And now, the music, the dancing and the magic of Flashdance is here in Tampa, LIVE on STAGE.

The storyline takes place in Pittsburg, Pa. and revolves around Alex, (Alexandra), who works at a Steel Mill during the day and as an exotic, ("Flashdancer") at a local bar at night. Her dream is to be a professional dancer, but she has no formal dance training. Alex gets an audition to a renowned dance academy and we follow her through the many challenges of making her dream come true.

You could FEEL the electricity of the opening night audience, myself included, high in anticipation for Flashdance - The Musical to begin. While seated, a projection of "MTV style" montage, of film clips and stills, were projected onstage honoring the first man landing on the moon, Madonna, Donna Summer, Olivia Newton John and other 1980's icons. And then...with a brilliant, pyrotechnic flash, the 5 piece band rocks out and the intense, mind-blowing, dancing begins. WOW!

Emily Padget's portrayal as Alex Owens, is a "force not to be reckoned with". She is a triple threat performer, commanding the stage at every moment. Her singing, acting, dancing, sex appeal, and unstopable energy, is the master key, to the success of this production. The young, Miss. Padget, handles the enormous responsibility of her role, with charisma and the skill and ease of a Broadway veteran. She is incandescent. Her "water scene" in the "Maniac" reprise at the end of Act I, brought the house down.

Handsome leading man, Matthew Hydzik as Nick Hurley, (Alex's boss and love interest), brought an honest, sincerity to his role, as well as a beautiful singing voice. Both his singing and gifted acting abilities are brought to the forefront in Act II, with his pivotal, scene stopping solo, "Enough".

Rachelle Rak as Tess and Dequina Moore as Kiki, are Alex's funny, caring friends, and exotic dance buddies. They both bring fierce dancing and musical comedy, to new and exciting heights. Tall, gorgous, voluptous, cougar, Rachelle Rak, literally stops the show with her "Tina Turner" look, dancing and writhing gymnatics, to "I Love Rock and Roll".
In turn, Dequina Moore "shows who's the boss", as a leather clad "Grace Jones type", dominatrix, to 4 leather-masked, dancing males, in her show stopping rendition of, "Manhunt". Their singing and dancing in "Put It On", (with Emily Padget and Kelly Felthous) was reminicent of classic, musical theatre fare, that we all know and love. Miss. Rak and Miss. Moore are extraordinary talents.

Gloria, played by Kelly Felthous is funny, charming, believable, and very likable. Her strong, clear, singing voice, especially shines in her duets "Remember Me" and "Where I Belong", opposite her silken-voiced, boyfriend Jimmy, played to comedic hilt, by David R. Gordon. Another triple threat, Miss. Felthous can also dance up a storm. She displays great emotion with her skilled acting, in a dramatic turn in Act II.

Jo Ann Cunningham, as Hannah, plays a beautifully aged, former professional dancer and mentor to Alex. Miss. Cunningham, a Broadway veteran, brings her celebrity presense, to each movement and every spoken word. With style, grace, and impeccable timing, Miss. Cunningham provokes laughter, with her sharp zingers to her nurse Louise, played to comedic success by Thursday Farrar. Miss. Farrar is a perfect foil to Miss. Cunningham's, Hannah. In a warm, comedic, star turn, Miss. Cunningham delights the audience with her singing, soft shoe, and kicks, in her novelty solo, "Hannah's Answer". Broadway will embrace her once again, in this role that she has made "her own".

Rounding out this "perfectly chosen" cast is the tough, but lovable club owner, Matthew Henerson as Harry and Christian Whelan as C.C., the sleazy, "guy you love to hate". Other standouts were Dan Kohler as Andy and Lawrence E. Street as Joe. The entire cast was amazing, including the phenomenal singing and dancing ensemble. WOW!

The show is brilliantly directed and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys, Memphis, The Addams Family). Scene trimming, shaping, and adjustments, customarily will be made before the Broadway opening. Meanwhile, you will be unable to take your eyes off of Mr. Trujillo's sensational choreography, superbly executed by this MEGA-talented company. Bravo!

Musical Director/Arranger, Jason Howland did a fine job, seemlessly incorporating new tunes into the classic film score. Nate Patten, conducted the Rockin', five piece band, that sometimes overpowered Ms. Padget. As the tour progresses, this will surely be rectified by collaboration with Sound designers John Shivers and David Partridge.

Costumes by deigner Paul Tazewell were plentiful, appropriately period, and dazzling.
The series of stunning backdrops and sliding panels, designed by Klara Zieglerova, along with projected images by Peter Nigrini, and Howell Binkley's spectacular lighting design, add to the WOW! factor, of Flashdance -The Musical. Bravo!

DON'T MISS Flashdance, The Musical! "You'll be dancin' in the aisles!"

Recommended for 14+. "Flashdance" contains some mature content that may not be suitable for all audiences.
The production runs 120 minutes including one intermission

"FLASHDANCE" will play Carol Morsani Hall, Feb. 19th-24th, 2013 at at the Straz Center,
1010 North W.C. MacInnes Place • Tampa, Florida 33602
Tickets: $44.50 and may be purchased by calling 813.229.STAR (7827) or 800.955.1045 outside Tampa Bay, or in person at the Straz Center Ticket Office or online.

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From This Author Jimmy Ferraro

Jimmy Ferraro is an Award Winning Actor and “Theatre Veteran”. His professional career spans over 40 years in every aspect of show business. Ferraro’s credits (read more...)


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