What a Feeling!
by Jayne Chobot Herring
Audience members going to the stage musical adaptation of the 1983 Flashdance film don't expect Shakespeare. The marketing simply implies a fun retelling of a cult classic born out of the introduction of the new MTV empire. And that is exactly what we get: a trip back to a time of payphones, legwarmers, and breakdancing - none of which autocorrect recognized as I typed this.
For us, an evening at the Music Hall at Fair Park was a perfect excuse for a Girl's Night Out, complete with the dinner buffet helmed by cutie Music Hall chef Eric Shelton, a few glasses of wine, and the memories in our pretty heads of music and choreography coming to life again on the stage.
What the show lacks in originality (enough with the movie-to-stage adaptations please) it makes up for in spirit and nostalgia, and despite the inappropriate behavior of a few rowdy ladies behind us (ahem!) it was a fun time and well worth the trip out to Fair Park.
The theater guru in me was a tad frustrated with what I called "The Chenoweth Factor," meaning that every stage musical blonde sounds and acts like the petite nasal-voiced soprano that sprung onto the Broadway scene in 1999 and has dominated since. But there was no denying the talent on the stage, especially in regards to Matthew Hydzik, a Pittsburgh native playing the role of Nick age-appropriate (unlike the movie) and making this Pennsylvania girl proud.
The dancing was fun if slightly imprecise, but nobody was there for a high-brow thought piece or perfection. And when we got those classic images of water and fire (spoiler!), nobody cared about anything else anyway. In a city where more people have been to Cowboys Stadium than the Meyerson (SHAMEFUL!), I am all about accessible art… if it gets you to the theater, then I am grateful. And Dallas Summer Musicals is fantastic at choosing shows to do just that.
The characters were familiar, the images were familiar, the music was familiar, and that's just what Flashdance is- punched up from the original with deeper plot lines and even more musical numbers, it remains accessible and sweet and a hell of a good time. Making our evening even better of course were the beautiful girlfriends we were with, notably Jennifer Buxton, Dawn Neufeld, Holly Davis, Renne Rouleau, Cynthia Smoot, and then LeeAnne Locken, Karen Lukin and me sporting 80's hair and legwarmers.
So dig out your 80's workout gear, dump a bucket of water on yourself, grab some girlfriends and enjoy the air conditioning of the Music Hall at Fair Park while enjoying Flashdance the Musical at Dallas Summer Musicals through July 7th. Tickets are available at http://www.ticketmaster.com/promo/c7mogu?brand=dallasmusicals.
About the author: Jayne Chobot Herring