Share This Page

Pittsburgh natives kick off 'Flashdance' world premiere

| Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, 8:55 p.m.
Emily Padgett and Pittsburgh native Matthew Hydzik perform at a press conference at Heinz Hall, Downtown, Friday, November 9th, 20123. The two will be starring in Flashdance - The Musical, which will have its world premier and kick off its national tour on January 1, 2013, at Heinz Hall. Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Emily Padgett performs at a press conference at Heinz Hall, Downtown, Friday, November 9th, 20123. She will be starring as Alex in Flashdance - The Musical, which will have its world premier and kick off its national tour on January 1, 2013, at Heinz Hall. Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Rachelle Rak, Emily Padgett, and Matthew Hydzik (from left,) perform at a press conference at Heinz Hall, Downtown, Friday, November 9th, 20123. The three will be starring in Flashdance - The Musical, which will have its world premier and kick off its national tour on January 1, 2013, at heinz hall. Rak and Hydzik are both Pittsburgh natives. Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review

Two former Pittsburgh-area residents will be among the lead performers when “Flashdance — The Musical” begins its national tour Jan. 1 at Heinz Hall, Downtown.

• Matthew Hydzik, a 1999 Quaker Valley High School graduate who won that year's Gene Kelly Award for best supporting actor, will star as Nick in the stage adaptation of the 1983 film. It's the former Sewickley resident's first appearance in Pittsburgh since he played in the 2006 tour of “Rent” and the 2004 tour of “Grease.”

• Rachelle Rak, who left Green Tree at 17 for a role in the touring company of “Cats,” returns after an absence of 25 years and roles in seven Broadway shows. She will play Tess, a veteran flashdancer and mentor to the main character, Alex.

Hydzik, Rak and Emily Padgett, who plays Alex, were in Pittsburgh on Friday to offer a brief showcase of the musical at an event at Heinz Hall.

A presentation of the PNC Broadway Across America-Pittsburgh series, “Flashdance the Musical” tells the story of Alex, a female welder who works nights as a flashdancer at a local bar, but dreams of becoming a professional dancer.

The score includes songs from the movie that was filmed in Pittsburgh such as “Flashdance — What a Feeling,” “Maniac,” “Gloria,” “Manhunt” and “I Love Rock & Roll.”

Despite an earlier production in London, the musical that will open here is a world premiere, director Sergio Trujillo says. The creative team, which includes Tom Hedley, who wrote the book and the original screenplay, has been extensively rewritten and has had 16 original songs written for this production by Robbie Roth and Robert Cary.

It returns to Hedley's original concept that it was about artists who found empowerment through dance.

“These (flashdancers) were so empowered. … They knew what they wanted,” Trujillo says. “This show will have this sense of empowerment. They were women with a kind of self-identity and self-goals. There also has to be love, so we are digging into the love story between Alex and Nick.

Tickets are now on sale for “Flashdance — the Musical,” which will run Jan. 1 to 6 at Heinz Hall, Downtown.

Admission: $20-$65. Details: 412-392-4900 or www.trustarts.org

Alice T. Carter is the theater critic for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7808 or acarter@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.