Look out, "Rock of Ages": another '80s-themed musical is on the road for "The Great White Way". NY1's Frank DiLella caught up with the folks behind the pre-Broadway tour of "Flashdance: The Musical".
What a feelin'. The 1983 film "Flashdance" has splashed on to the musical stage.
Set against the backdrop of "The Steel City", the show tells the story of Alex, a welder by day and an exotic dancer by night, dreaming of a future as a prima ballerina.
The musical, which is currently on tour, had its U.S. premiere in Pittsburgh last month. Broadway actress Emily Padgett takes on the central character of Alex, a role made famous on the big screen by Jennifer Beals.
"I didn't try to do an imitation or anything like that," Padgett says. "I just tried to tell the story of a girl who wants so desperately to dance but is so afraid of putting herself out there."
"Flashdance: The Musical" makes its way to the U.S. after a world premiere in England back in 2010. While the U.K. production was a flop, this version has been completely revamped by Broadway director and choreographer Sergio Trujillo of "Memphis" and "Jersey Boys" fame.
The stage show has the '80s written all over it, featuring tunes from the film like "Manhunt" and "What a Feelin'", along with additional songs by Robert Cary and Robbie Roth.
"They all are in the '80s vein," Padgett says. "Some are very Bruce Springsteen. Some are very Billy Joel. Some are very Annie Lennox."
Pittsburgh natives turned Broadway performers Rachelle Rak and Matthew Hydzik star opposite Padgett as Tess and Nick. Trujillo built the character of Tess with '80s enthusiast Rachelle Rak in mind.
"Sergio said to me, 'Do you want to be Pat Benatar or would you like to be Joan Jett?' And I said, 'How about Tina Turner?'" Rak says.
As for Hydzik, he, too, has a few '80s favorites.
"Members only jacket," he says. "I had stone-wash jeans. High tops with the big tongues."
If you want to see and hear '80s rock n' roll on the musical stage, be sure to check out "Flashdance" now on tour or when it comes to Broadway this summer.