Flashdance the Musical
Flashdance the Musical is a stage adaptation of the 1983 musical film Flashdance with a book by Tom Hedley & Robert Cary, music by Robbie Roth and lyrics by Roth and Cary. The show had a sold-out world premiere in 2008 at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth, England followed by a 16-week London West End run at the Shaftesbury Theatre ending January 15, 2011. The show will begin a UK Tour, starting in Glasgow, Scotland, August 10, 2017, including a potential 5 week run in the West End.
West End poster
|Lyrics||Robbie Roth & Robert Cary|
|Book||Tom Hedley & Robert Cary|
|Productions||2008 UK Tour
2010 West End
2013 US Tour
2013 Luzern (Switzerland)
2013 Brno (Czechia)
2014 Chemnitz (Germany)
2014 Amstetten (Austria)
2014 Paris (France)
2015 France Tour
2017 UK Tour
The musical had a US tour in 2013-2015, but an expected Broadway run was postponed.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Synopsis
- 3 Production History
- 4 Cast
- 5 Critical reception
- 6 Differences Between Stage and Film
- 7 Musical Numbers
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Based on the Paramount Pictures film (screenplay by Tom Hedley and Joe Eszterhas, story by Tom Hedley) the UK production described itself as "an unmistakably unique musical about holding onto your dreams and love against all the odds". The show includes hits "Maniac", "Manhunt", "Gloria", the award-winning title track "Flashdance – What a Feeling".
Pittsburgh, 1983. On the floor of Hurley Steel, young steelworker Alexandra (“Alex”) Owens welds while waiting impatiently for her shift to end (“Steeltown Sky”). She’s anxious to get to Harry’s Bar, a small club where she performs innovative, fashion-driven dances. On the mill floor, she catches the eye of Nick Hurley, the son of the mill owner, who decides he wants to learn more about her.
En route to the club, Alex meets up with her friend Gloria, who encourages Alex to pursue her dream of becoming a trained dancer in a legitimate company by applying to audition for the renowned Shipley Academy. Alex decides to take the chance and asks the academy's administrator, Ms. Wilde, for an application (“It’s All in Reach”).
As Alex warms up to perform at Harry's, her good friends (and fellow dancers) Kiki, Tess and Gloria sing “Maniac.” Alex steps onto the club stage, and she’s captivating. After her performance, she’s approached by Nick Hurley, but she rebuffs him, concerned about getting involved with her own boss. In the dressing room, her girlfriends can’t believe she’d turn down someone as attractive as Nick, but Alex sticks to her guns. Gloria, who waits tables at Harry’s but longs to perform, gets an education from the women in what inspires a “flashdance” (“Put It On”). But when the bar’s owner, Harry, enters and complains that a new lap-dance joint called Chameleon — opened down the street by a shady entrepreneur named C.C. — is starting to siphon off his once-loyal customers, Alex realizes her days at Harry’s may be numbered (“It’s All in Reach” reprise).
Anxious about her audition, Alex visits her elderly friend Hannah, a retired dancer who bolsters Alex’s confidence about getting into Shipley (“A Million to One”). Alex reports to Shipley for a preliminary audition, but she’s quickly intimidated by the accomplished, trained dancers all around her (“High Art”). She rushes out, crestfallen.
The next day, Nick approaches Alex in the steel mill's lunchroom, but once again she rejects his advances. Nick gets a playful jabbing from the steel men, who are happy to see him knocked off his pedestal (“Justice”). After they exit, he’s approached by his secretary, who shows him a list of workers slated to be fired as the company starts to outsource its manufacturing. Nick’s affection (and respect) for Alex put him in a tough spot (“Justice” reprise).
At Harry’s Bar, Gloria is hit on by C.C., the owner of the Chameleon Club. Nick, who is waiting at the club for another chance to talk to Alex, fends C.C. off. Alex is impressed by Nick’s chivalry and finally agrees to let him take her on a date. Gloria confronts her longtime boyfriend Jimmy, who is a fellow waiter at Harry’s (and Harry’s nephew), and demands to know why Jimmy never sticks up for her. Jimmy admits that he has plans to go to New York to make it as a stand-up comic; furthermore, he intends to go alone. Gloria is deeply hurt, and they break up (“Gloria”). Tess takes the stage at Harry’s to perform a rousing interpretation of “I Love Rock n’ Roll.”
Nick and Alex return to her place from their date and start to move past their assumptions about one another; she admits to her dream of attending Shipley, while he confesses that he’s torn about the employees his family wants him to fire. They begin to fall in love (“Here and Now”).
A few weeks later, Alex goes to Hannah holding an envelope from the Shipley Academy, and opens it to discover she’s been called back for a final audition (“My Next Step”). Meanwhile, C.C. lures Gloria into working at the Chameleon, while Nick visits Ms. Wilde to thank her for letting Alex have a callback—which he has paid for with a “contribution” to the Academy. Blissfully unaware of all this, Alex steps onto Harry’s stage and dances exuberantly, finishing with an iconic blast of water from above.
At the Chameleon Club, the girls perform lasciviously as Gloria — increasingly dependent on alcohol and cocaine — realizes she’s gotten in too deep with C.C. (“Chameleon Girl”).
Alex and Nick, now very much in love, head off to face the day's challenges (“Here and Now” reprise). Alex goes to Hannah for further audition advice, and Hannah counsels Alex to forego attempting to dance classically for the judges in favor of something that expresses Alex’s unique talent and style; Nick, meanwhile, prepares to plead his case against firing the steel workers (“My Turn”).
Jimmy returns from New York, his dreams of becoming a famous stand-up comic quickly dashed. He asks his Uncle Harry for his job back, and Harry, after some initial reluctance, agrees, glad to have Jimmy home (“Where I Belong”).
Nick fails to convince his family they should hold onto the workers. When Alex discovers that many of her friends at the plant are getting laid off, she and Nick argue, causing him to inadvertently admit he arranged her callback at Shipley. Alex walks out on him in a fury, leaving Nick to question his place in the company and his path in life (“Enough”).
Kiki performs a flashdance to “Manhunt,” as Harry continues to worry about C.C.’s growing success. Alex, still upset from her fight with Nick and coping with learning the truth about her Shipley callback, discovers that Gloria — who she thought was away caring for a relative — has in fact been with C.C. at the Chameleon. She rashly decides to go to Chameleon, rescuing Gloria (with some last-minute chivalry from none other than Jimmy). Gloria and Jimmy reconcile (“Where I Belong” reprise).
Alex decides to leave Pittsburgh and return to the small town where she grew up, despite having no real prospects there. Nick appears and tries to dissuade her still (“Hang On”). She’s insistent that their relationship has too many challenges to succeed. But when Alex discovers that Hannah has passed away, leaving her some money toward her tuition at Shipley, she finally confronts her own fears and makes the choice to reach for her dreams despite the odds (“Try”).
Alex arrives at Shipley just in time to audition, and her remarkable dance dispels the judges' initial skepticism (“Flashdance — What a Feeling”). Alex is given a place in the new semester; Nick enters with flowers, and Alex, forgiving the past and certain that her acceptance was based on her true talent, presents him with a rose from the bouquet before embracing him joyously.
2008 UK tour
Following its premiere, Flashdance the Musical had a five month tour of the UK. The 2008-09 UK tour was directed by Kenny Leon and choreographed by Arlene Phillips, with a book by Tom Hedley & Robert Cary, music by Robbie Roth and lyrics by Robbie Roth and Robert Cary. The UK touring production's cast included Victoria Hamilton-Barritt as Alex Owens, Noel Sullivan as Nick Hurley, Bernie Nolan as Hannah Owens and Bruno Langley as Jimmy Kaminsky.
2010 West End
The 2010 West End production ran at the Shaftesbury Theatre from September 2010 through January 2011. Produced by David Ian, the show was directed by Nikolai Foster and choreographed by Phillips. The cast featured Victoria Hamilton-Barritt as Alex Owens, Matt Willis as Nick Hurley, Sarah Ingram as Hannah Owens and Sam Mackay as Jimmy Kaminsky.
Previews were due to begin on September 24, 2010, postponed by technical difficulties to the following day.
2013-2015 US Tour
2017 UK Tour
The show will begin a UK Tour, starting in Glasgow on August 10, 2017, including a potential 5 weeks in the West End. The show is produced by Selladoor Worldwide, and directed by Hannah Chiswick, choreography by Matt Cole. The tour is due to play 62 weeks in the UK alone, touring for over a year.
The show also had a Fall 2013 touring production in Holland followed by a major production in Stockholm, Sweden from January 2014 until March 2015. This newly revised version of the show, including new story and musical elements, was hugely successful and continued on to appearances in additional Swedish cities, including Gothenburg and Malmö.
The German language premiere took place in Kriens, Switzerland in November 2013 followed by production in Chemnitz, Germany and Amstetten, Lower Austria in 2014. Flashdance the Musical has since been performed in multiple regional German language productions. It was translated into German by Anja Hauptmann.
There had been discussion of a Broadway production. In December 2011, reports emerged stating a re-working of the London production would premiere on Broadway in "fall 2012". However, as of March 2012, the official website was showing a single page with a reworked logo and the tag line "Coming to a city near you" and a confirmed engagement for the tour to visit Pittsburgh's Heinz Hall (the city where the production is set) from January 1 to 6, 2013. It was later announced that after the tour, Flashdance the Musical would transfer to Broadway in August 2013. However, the producers announced in April 2013 that the August opening of Flashdance on Broadway would be postponed. The producers said that the postponement was due to a lack of theatres in the fall and too many subplots.
|Character||Original UK Tour Cast||Original West End Cast|
|Alex Owens||Victoria Hamilton-Barritt||Victoria Hamilton-Barritt|
|Nick Hurley||Noel Sullivan||Matt Willis|
|Hannah Owens||Bernie Nolan||Sarah Ingram|
|Jimmy Kaminsky||Bruno Langley||Sam Mackay|
|Gloria||Ruthie Stevens||Charlotte Harwood|
|Tess||Djalenja Scott||Twinnie Lee Moore|
|Keisha||Carryl Thomas||Hannah Levane|
|Abe||Michael Conway||Brendan Cull|
|Harry||Gavin Spokes||Russell Dixon|
|Joe||Gavin Spokes||Russell Dixon|
|Dr Kool||Simon Harvey||Ricky Rojas|
|Sammy||Simon Harvey||Andrew Spillett|
|CC||Michael Conway||Robbie White|
Flashdance the Musical has been very well-received by the press internationally and also during its US tour. It was generally praised for the performance of its ensemble and its choreography, as well as its updated story. A review by Vancouver Sun noted that while it was still "anchored in '80s music and style," the story had "been retouched to remove a couple of the creepier elements of the original."
The West End production of Flashdance the Musical was praised by London Theatre as “a slick and brilliantly-crafted production that's hard to fault.”
Most criticism was in regards to the play's attempt to add depth to the simplistic plot of the original 1983 film. Variety commented that that the play "unwisely pads" the original film’s screenplay.
Differences Between Stage and Film
- The film's characters Jeanie and Tina Tech have been combined to create Gloria.
- Instead of the Zanzibar being a strip club it's now a club with no nudity - just pole dancing.
- The character of Richie Blazik is cut and the character Jimmy Kaminsky is substituted, however the two characters have very little in common.
- The substory in which Alex and Nick break up because Alex believes he's cheating on her is missing from the stage show.
- All the "Flashdancer's" solos are cut, minus Alex's famous chair dance. However this is moved to the end of act one for ease of changing and clean up.
- Songs from the film that are used in the show are used in a different context. For instance Manhunt is no longer used for a solo dance piece it is sung over a montage of Nick and Alex on a series of dates. Another example is Gloria. In the film this is used during Jeanie's ice skating solo, however in the show it is used when Gloria performs in the strip club. However "What a Feeling" is still used for Alex's audition.
- In the film Nick convinces Alex to go to her audition, in the stage show her friends convince her and accompany her to the audition.
Source: Official Page
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