It seems as though legwarmers, neon and oversized sweaters are not the only ‘80s trends making comebacks in 2013.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the 1983 blockbuster “Flashdance” has made its way to the stage with “Flashdance — The Musical,” combining the movie’s classic dance numbers with new, contemporary songs. It is scheduled to make its Columbus premiere Tuesday at the Palace Theatre, presented by the Columbus Association for Performing Arts.
Audiences will watch the journey of Alex, a Pittsburgh steel mill worker by day and dancer by night, who dreams of trading in seedy bars for big-time stages as she learns the challenges of chasing one’s dreams. Her dreams are complicated, though, when Alex falls for her boss at the steel mill, Nick, and, consequently, she is forced to make some tough decisions.
The musical features 16 new songs in addition to hits from the film’s original, Grammy award-winning soundtrack, including “Flashdance—What a Feeling,” “Maniac” and “I Love Rock & Roll.”
“It’s weird because you want to stay relevant and give the audience what they want but also manage to make it your own,” said Corey Mach, who plays Nick, of adapting the movie into theater.
Mach admits he chose not to watch the movie because he was worried it would influence the way he played his character.
“It’s a tricky beast to do a remake,” he said. “I wanted to give it my own spin.”
Although Tom Hedley, a co-writer of “Flashdance’s” screenplay, worked on the musical’s creative team as the executive producer, Mach’s character in the musical is one source of change from the original movie. Nick is given more attention in the musical, developing his own storyline and featuring his own musical numbers, said Mach.
“He’s not just idly staring at these girls and falling in love, which I guess is sort of what he does in the movie,” said Mach.
Mach said his close, sibling-like friendship with lead actress Jillian Mueller, who plays Alex, makes their chemistry on stage all the more believable, as does the power of song.
“Music adds such a great dynamic to stage productions,” Mach said. “It opens a whole new variety of emotions.”
Second-year dance major Ryan Shaw said he saw a different stage production of “Flashdance” a few years ago.
“It was done pretty well, but it can get a little risqué,” Shaw said. “It’s new and different, these adaptations are always a change, but it can be really interesting.”
“Flashdance — The Musical” is set to play at the Palace Theatre on 34 W. Broad St. Tuesday through Sunday. Tickets can be purchased at the CAPA Ticket Center at 39 E. State St. and Ticketmaster, starting at $28.