Rachelle Rak, Emily Padgett, Matthew Hydzik Will Star in Re-Imagined Flashdance for U.S. Tour
By Kenneth Jones
Broadway's Emily Padgett and Matthew Hydzik will star as Alex and Nick, respectively, in what's billed as the world premiere of Flashdance —The Musical when its national tour launches in a January engagement in Pittsburgh, where the story of a hopeful steelworker/exotic dancer is set.
The Jan. 1-6, 2013, run at Heinz Hall is the dawn of a new national tour that represents rewrites and new creative team since the title's stage premiere in London in 2010. Technically, it's the world premiere of a new stage version; the writers from London remain, but audiences can expect something "completely re-invisioned," with "new songs, new book, new creative team and overall a different physical production," a spokesman told Playbill.com.
The adaptation, of course, draws from the 1983 hit film of the same name.
Broadway's Rachelle Rak (who recently played Sheila in Paper Mill Playhouse's A Chorus Line) will play the role of Tess.
The principal players were announced by director-choreographer Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys, Memphis, The Addams Family) on Nov. 9, at a press conference in Pittsbrugh.
The Flashdance touring company will play at least 20 cities. A separate Broadway company will begin performances at a New York City theatre to be announced in August 2013, for an open-ended engagement.
The year 2013 mark the 30th anniversary of the pop-cultural phenomenon. "With electrifying dance at its core, Flashdance — The Musical tells the inspiring and unforgettable story of Alex Owens, a Pittsburgh steel mill welder by day and a bar dancer by night with dreams of one day becoming a professional performer," according to the producers. "When romance with her steel mill boss threatens to complicate her ambitions, Alex learns the meaning of love and its power to fuel the pursuit of her dream."
Flashdance features 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 title song ("Flashdance – What a Feeling," "Maniac," "Maniac," "Gloria," "Manhunt," "I Love Rock & Roll"), plus 16 new songs written for the stage (music by Robbie Roth and lyrics by Robert Cary and Roth).
The book is by Robert Cary and Tom Hedley (co-writer of the original screenplay with Joe Eszterhas).
The national tour of Flashdance is produced by NETworks Presentations LLC, Steven Baruch, Tom Viertel, Marc Routh, Richard Frankel, Christopher Malcolm, David Ian Productions and Transamerica.
Padgett's Broadway credits include Rock of Ages, Legally Blonde and Grease. She appeared in the world premiere of White Noise at the Royal George Theatre in Chicago.
Hydzik, a Pittsburgh native, was last seen on Broadway starring as Tony in the revival of West Side Story, and played Kenickie in Grease, plus national tours of Rent, Fame and Grease.
Pittsburgh native Rak, at the age of 17, joined the national tour of Cats. Her Broadway credits include Fosse, Catch Me If You Can, Cats, Thou Shalt Not, Oklahoma!, The Look of Love and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. She is featured in the documentary film "Every Little Step: The Making of A Chorus Line."
The production features lighting design by Howell Binkley, scenic design by Klara Zieglerova, projection design by Peter Nigrini and costumes by Paul Tazewell with sound design by John Shivers, hair design by Charles LaPointe and make-up design by Cookie Jordan.
The production also features music arrangements and supervision by Jason Howland, orchestrations by Doug Besterman, dance arrangements by Jim Abbott.
As previously reported, dates for the national tour currently include:
Pittsburgh, PA, Jan. 1-6, 2013, Heinz Hall
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