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Pittsburgh natives kick off 'Flashdance' world premiere

Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review - 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.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review</em></div>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.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review</em></div>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.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review</em></div>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.

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Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, 8:55 p.m.
 

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.

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