Flashdance — The Musical Will Stretch Its Muscles in Summer Workshop Before Making a Splash on Tour
By Kenneth Jones
The producers of the North American premiere of Flashdance — The Musical will explore the show in a late-summer workshop directed and choreographed by Broadway's Sergio Trujillo, according a casting notice. The show will make its North American premiere in a tour that launches in January 2013 at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh. Additional dates have also been announced.
Pittsburgh is the setting for the story of a lady steelworker with a passion for dance. Flashdance – The Musical is the stage adaptation of the 1983 pop-filled hit film that starred Jennifer Beals.
No workshop or production casting has been announced, though some principal roles for the workshop are cast. It is thought that the workshop will address revisions since the show's 2010 premiere in London; expect all-new direction and choreography by Trujillo (Next to Normal, Memphis, The Addams Family, Jersey Boys).
The American incarnation features a book by Robert Cary and Tom Hedley (co-writer of the original screenplay with Joe Eszterhas), music by Robbie Roth, and lyrics by Robert Cary and Robbie Roth.
Jason Howland (Little Women, Bonnie & Clyde, Wonderland, Taboo, The Civil War) is the musical supervisor and musical director. Casting is by Tara Rubin Casting.
Flashdance is produced by Steven Baruch, Tom Viertel, Marc Routh and Richard Frankel, partnering with others. Broadway is the aim, though no specific New York dates have been announced. However, additional tour cities have been revealed for the first part of 2013 (see below). The producers were not immediately available to comment about this latest step for Flashdance.
According to production notes, expect "a score including the hit songs from the movie, all of which became Top Ten hits on the radio around the world" including the Academy Award-winning "Flashdance – What a Feeling," plus "Maniac," "Gloria," "Manhunt," "I Love Rock & Roll" and 16 new, original songs written for the stage by Roth and Cary.
In the tale, Alex Owens is a working-class girl from Pittsburgh striving to make her dreams of becoming a professional dancer a reality. She works by day at a steel mill, where earns the attention of her boss, Nick Hurley. By night she works as a 'flashdancer' at a local bar but longs to become a student at the prestigious Shipley Dance Academy.
The Paramount Pictures film had an international gross of $150 million.
According to the casting breakdown, 19-year-old Alex (who is already cast) is "tough and has a temper, but also capable of great vulnerability." She is "fiery" and "proud" and is "deeply loyal to her friends and emotionally guarded with men (despite being sexually in command)." She's a "seelworker by day and self-styled dancer at night, with a secret dream of something greater. Alex's energy drives the show. Must be excellent dancer (Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Hip-Hop a plus), dance improvisational skills must be strong. Strong belt voice (solid Bb below middle C, belt to high D, good pop sensibility, needs a smooth transition from pop mix to belt)."
The workshop will last approximately Aug. 27-Sept. 14. Usually workshop rehearsals culminate in a presentation for industry people, investors and potential investors.
For more information, visit flashdancethemusical.com.
Dates for the national tour currently include:
Pittsburgh, PA, Jan. 1-6, 2013, Heinz Hall
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