Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Theatre Review: Flashdance - The Musical - Toronto

Sydney Morton as Alex Owens. Photo by Denise Truscello.
By: Alison Silveira

The smash hit movie, Flashdance has been adapted as a musical and had its premier last month in Toronto. The show features some of the biggest anthems of the '80s, including Flashdance...What a Feeling, Maniac, Gloria, and I Love Rock & RollFlashdance tells the story of Alex Owens, a young woman who works as a welder by day and who moonlights as a nightclub dancer. With big dreams of attending a prestigious ballet school, Alex finds encouragement and motivation from her friends and mentor. 
Sydney Morton as Alex Owens and Corey Mach as Nick Hurley.
Sydney Morton is absolutely sensational as Alex, the ambitious and hardworking steelworker and talented dancer. Morton dominates the stage with her incredibly honed dance technique, melodic voice, and indomitable spirit. Corey Mach plays Alex's boss and love interest, Nick, who falls a little flat. The chemistry between Morton and Mach is sorely lacking, which makes it difficult to be drawn into their love story. Mach gives a slightly wooden performance and is easily upstaged by Morton. Kiki (Kyra Da Costa) plays Alex's confidante and she is one of the show's scene stealers, with her powerful vocals bringing down the house in her superb rendition of Manhunt. Her stage presence and vocal prowess is mesmerizing.

Sergio Trujillo, best known for his choreography of Jersey Boys, takes on the roles of both director and choreographer. Trujillo does a fine job in recreating the early '80s by portraying the grim realities of the economic recession and contrasting it with the nightclub's glitz and glamour. Trujillo's choreography is brilliant and stays true to many of the original dance sequences in the film, including Alex's iconic water dance. The well-trained, spirited dancers showcase a variety of dynamic styles including, ballet, jazz, and break dancing, which keeps the audience entertained. 
Jillian Mueller as Alex Owens. Photo by Jeremy Daniel. 
Flashdance pays homage to the '80s and gives pop culture nods to MTV and Michael Jackson's famous moonwalk. The show's theme of pursuing one's dreams will resonate with many audience members, as will its outstanding song and dance numbers. 

Starring Sydney Morton, Corey Mach, Kyra Da Costa, and Ginna Claire Mason
Direction and Choreography by Sergio Trujillo 
Music by Robbie Roth
Lyrics by Robert Cary and Robbie Roth
Book by Tom Hedley and Robert Cary
Flashdance plays at the Ed Mirvish Theatre until June 8, 2014.

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