Bright, flashing lights and immediate singing and dancing pulled the audience right into the action of “Flashdance – The Musical” Tuesday night at the Overture Center. A part of the Broadway at Overture series, “Flashdance,” which premiered Tuesday, was nothing short of spectacular.
Sydney Morton, who has appeared in other Broadway musicals such as “Memphis,” “Jersey Boys,” “High School Musical” and “Motown,” plays the dazzling main character, Alex Owens. Owens works as a welder at a steel mill in Pittsburgh during the day and dances at night. She dreams of achieving more, someday aspiring to be a professional dancer with the help of her loved ones. With her at the helm, “Flashdance” is filled with raw emotion, passion, determination, love, humor and valuable life lessons.
Hit songs such as “Flashdance – What a Feeling,” “Manhunt,” “Imagination” and “Maniac” awed the crowd, all accompanied by quirky dancing and singing, shimmering costumes and incredibly sharp vocals. Water even fell down on Owens during the classic number “Maniac” in the well-known “Flashdance” pose. The audience was undoubtedly thrilled and responded with huge enthusiasm. The bright and vibrant costumes were reminiscent of the ’80s and made you feel as if you had stepped into a time machine for the night and landed on a classic MTV set. At the same time, the digitally-projected set gave the show a modern feel, providing excellent graphics for the background and scenery, making the set something truly spectacular to look at. Digital images were projected onto objects on the set, allowing the show to take on a wide variety of realistic-looking locations. The scene transitions were lightning-fast, fitting right in with the pace of the musical. They were also often done while dancers displaying impressive movements that took audience eyes away from the set.
Shining lights and smoke machines were heavily employed, creating the feeling of being at a live concert during some numbers. The entertainment throughout “Flashdance” was constant; there was never a dull moment. The excitement and thrill of the show never stopped. Alex Owen’s passion for dancing was contagious, and I found myself resisting the urge to get up and start dancing myself. The impeccably choreographed numbers included a wide variety of dancing, from ballet to hip-hop to more risqué sensual dancing. As ballerinas sashayed on and off the stage and dancers gyrated right in front of the audience, an interaction with the crowd was created that can’t be replicated on a medium like TV.
“Flashdance” proved to be a classic underdog story, showing that despite the struggles many people have to face in everyday life, underdogs don’t always stay down. And who doesn’t love a good underdog story? I was sad to see the cast go as they danced off the stage after their final bows and overwhelming crowd applause.
“Flashdance – The Musical” is showing at the Overture Center until Sunday, March 2. Tickets can be purchased with a student ID for only $25; regular ticket prices range from $39 to $91. They can be purchased here.