Flashdance: The Musical is both contemporary and classic

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Nostalgia is definitely brimming this week at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) as Flashdance: The Musical splashes its way onto the Nashville stage.

A definite treat for those who remember the 1983 film with Jennifer Beals and an enjoyable non-stop dance party for those who do not, Flashdance is sure to get your toes tapping, head bobbing, fingers snapping and maybe even have you signing up for dance lessons by the time it leaves Nashville on March 24.

For those not familiar with the story, Flashdance follows Alex, steel plant worker by day and dancer by night, who dreams of one day attending a dance academy. While all Alex would need today was a YouTube account, the production pays homage to the time when MTV actually played music videos, perms were cool and of course that iconic shoulder-hanging grey sweatshirt … okay maybe perms were never cool, but who could forget that sweatshirt?

While the production is infused with the classic songs “Maniac”, “Flashdance …What a Feeling” and “Gloria” that made the 80s film memorable, the big surprise here is the original songs by Robert Cary and Robbie Roth.

Anchored by the intense chemistry between Alex and Nick, played by Emily Padgett and Matthew Hydzik respectively, “Here and Now” and “Hang On” are emotionally charged numbers that could melt the most cold-hearted of audience members.

Padgett’s and Hydzik’s convincing portrayal of love on different sides of the tracks is just one highlight of Flashdance. The comical moments provided by Hannah (played by Jo Ann Cunningham) and Gloria (played by Kelly Felthous) and the rousing numbers performed by Tess (Rachelle Rak) and Kiki (Dequina Moore) are integral to the Flashdance experience—and it is an experience.

This show is a must-see for all 80s babies and even those who just love the 80s. And I will not tell you when, but you can bet the iconic splash scene is just as memorable on stage as it is on film.

Flashdance: The Musical plays at TPAC through March 24. Get tickets now.