I had a big night yesterday: I finally tried Marvel Bar with colleagues after work, attended opening night of We Will Rock You at the Orpheum to kick off the 2013-2014 Broadway season, and finished out the night at my first show after-party at Rock Bottom Brewery for apps and more drinks.
I know what you’re thinking – how did I stay awake past my normal bed time of 9:30? Let me tell you, it takes something pretty interesting to keep me up late on a Tuesday night. And interesting is a good way to describe We Will Rock You, a musical set to a score of Queen songs. The place is a futuristic version of what used to be America, now called Globalsoft and inhabited by humans who are entirely un-individualistic. Upbeat, computer-generated pop music is all that exists and there is only a rumor of something called rock music which is kept alive by a group of underground rebels.
The 12-year old show originated at London’s West End but just made its debut in Minneapolis last night, fresh as a daisy. For the U.S. tour Ben Elton, the show’s writer and director, went back to his original script and adapted it to be more relevant and culturally up to date (Miley’s twerking cannot be escaped, even in this show). The result seemed to win over last night’s audience which chuckled in all of the right places.
As with most musicals written around a pre-existing soundtrack (I’m looking at you, American Idiot), the storyline is a bit loose and perhaps less than absorbing. However, the cast’s musical chops are phenomenal and you quickly find yourself a bit enamored with the characters for their voices more than their backstories.
If you’re a Queen fan (or willing to become one), you have until Sunday, November 24th to catch We Will Rock You in Minneapolis; tickets are still available here. Just make sure you don’t try to duck out during final applause to dodge the crowd or you’ll miss the Bohemian Rhapsody encore, which is well worth staying for.