Cue the Water: Revamped After London, Flashdance Aiming for Broadway
By Kenneth Jones
Flashdance, the movie-inspired pop-rock musical that had a short life in London in 2010-11, is being revised and aimed at Broadway for a fall 2012 launch, according to the New York Times.
Sergio Trujillo, the choreographer of the popular Next to Normal, Jersey Boys, The Addams Family and Memphis, will reportedly direct and choreograph the project being produced by Thomas Viertel, Steven Baruch, Richard Frankel and Marc Routh (Company, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd).
The story of Alex, a lady welder by day who is a moist club performer at night ("Maniac," anyone?), was seen in the 1983 film starring Jennifer Beals, who (along with Jane Fonda) popularized the dubious leisure fashion trend of knit-wear leg warmers (the Crocs of the 1980s).
The script and score are being revised to underline the relationship between big-haired Alex and a wealthy love interest attached to her steel plant, Viertel told the Times. There is no official announcement of the show's Broadway timeline or Manhattan home.
A 2011-12 winter industry reading will be followed by an out-of-town tryout, the paper reported. A spokesman confirmed the accuracy of the producers' reported intentions to Playbill.
The creative team includes composer and co-lyricist Robbie Roth, lyricist and co-librettist Robert Cary; and co-librettist Tom Hedley (drawing from his screenplay). The score is peppered with pop hits from the film.
Flashdance The Musical officially opened Oct. 14, 2010, following previews that began Sept. 25 at London's Shaftesbury Theatre. It closed Jan. 15, 2011.
Victoria Hamilton-Barritt and Matt Willis as Nick headed a cast that also included Sarah Ingram (Hannah), Charlotte Harwood (Gloria), Hannah Levane (Keisha) and Twinnie-Lee Moore (Jazmin), with Brendan Cull, Russell Dixon, Sam Mackay, Ricky Rojas, Andrew Spillett and Robbie White, as well as Ivan Blackstock, Tyman Boatwright, Myles Brown, Joseph Conner, Natalie Edmunds, Nicholas Gilligan, Zoe Green, James Hall, Ben Harrold, Emily Hawgood, Kirby Huges, Sia Kiwa, Lindsay Shaw, Maria Swainson, Amy Thornton and Daniel Uppal.
The show is based on the 1983 Paramount Pictures film (screenplay by Tom Hedley and Joe Eszterhas, story by Tom Hedley). In London, it featured such songs as "Maniac," "Manhunt," "Gloria," "I Love Rock and Roll" and the Academy Award-winning title song from the film, "Flashdance – What a Feeling," as well as 14 new songs written specially for the musical. It was directed by Nikolai Foster, with choreography by Arlene Phillips and orchestrations and musical supervision by Phil Edwards. The show was produced in the West End by Christopher Malcolm, David Ian, The Baruch-Viertel-Routh-Frankel Group and Transamerica.
Hamilton-Barritt, who created the role of Alex for the U.K. tour of the show, returned to London to play the 19-year-old welder who "flashdances" by night but whose whose dream is to obtain a place at a prestigious dance academy.
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