Everyone has a dream. For Alex, her dream is to dance . But reality takes over as it does for us all. Alex slaves in a Pittsburgh steel mill all day and embraces the dance at night. Her dancing doesn’t require toe shoes and tights , it requires loud music and sleazy outfits. Alex and her best friend Gloria perform nightly at a dive that is a hang out for steel workers. Gloria’s boyfriend, has dreams of being a stand up and also works at “Harry’s” Thus is the beginning of our story.
Last night, “Flashdance” opened to a Windy City crowd at the “Cadillac Theatre.” Audience members will be transported back to the beginning of the MTV age courtesy of a visual montage on the front screen. Tunes from artists of the age blared pre -show. It took me back to a great time in my life. I knew this was going to be a fun show.
Jillian Mueller is a triple threat. She took control of the stage, danced her little heart and belted her numbers. As the lead, “Alex” she also took the audience into her bosom with every emotional scene in the play. Even though there were a few cheesy spots, she pulled in the audience with her role. As her leading man, Matthew Hydzik captured Nick as her Prince Charming. He managed to charm the audience both with voice and his storybook looks. Any girl would have wanted to be rescued by him. As Gloria, Kelly Felthous was the perfect bff. She held her own with her cutesy voice and characterization of a girl who becomes lost. David R Gordon rounds out the main cast as “Jimmy” . He made the audience boo and then yay when he realizes that his place is with the love of his life, Pittsburgh and Gloria.
As a character actress, I realize the importance of such roles in a musical. Leading this cast was the dynamic performer , DeQuina Moore as Kiki. The number that made her shine was “Manhunt.” Accompanied by some pretty nice eye candy, her belt rocked the house. There were also some fun moments in the show between “Hannah” and her nurse, “Tess” as well. Kudos though go to Christian Whelan as “CC” . His portrayal of the sleazy owner of the Chameleon Club was pure evil and you could tell he was lovin it. As always , the energetic chorus came up to the task and kept their pace up all the way through the show. Costumes by Paul Tazewell dressed up the stage with the flash and glitter of the period. Lighting by Howell Binkley set the pace of the whole show . The whole thing was one big musical time machine back to the eighties that kept the audience wanting more.
Hey if you want to go back in time, don’t delay. This rockin good time is only in town for two weeks. Everyone that I have talked to wants to grab tickets , so call early. As always , you can go to the Broadway in Chicago website at http://www.broadwayinchicago.com or visit the kiosk in Water Tower Place.