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Preview: FLASHDANCE, A Musical That Defines A Generation

Vanessa Hung |
May 2, 2013 | 11:38 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Courtesy of FLASHDANCE.
Courtesy of FLASHDANCE.
“What a feeling, bein's believin’. Pictures come alive, you can dance right through your life”- does it sound familiar? In celebration of its 30th anniversary, FLASHDANCE, the stage adaption of the 1983 film, is now live on stage again in Costa Mesa. Get ready for this unique and sizzling Broadway musical at Segerstrom Center for the Arts from May 7-19. 

The musical revolves around 18-year-old Alex Owens, an ordinary welder during the day and and exotic dancer at night, who has great enthusiasm toward singing and dancing. FLASHDANCE follows the inspiring story of Alex who fervently pursues her dream of becoming a professional dancer.

Cast member Christian Whelan has performed with FLASHDANCE across the nation, including Maryland, Louisiana and Kentucky, since January 2013. He recounted his experiences of being a part of FLASHDANCE as challenging yet unforgettable and enriching.

Whelan’s antagonistic role of the malicious strip club owner, CC, doesn’t affect his likability in any way. “The biggest challenge is to make the audience love to hate you,” Whelan said.  “As an actor, it is one of the most rewarding and joyful experiences." Whelan opted to embrace the terrible yet lovable antagonists, because every great story needs them.

Christian Whelan/ FLASHDANCE
Christian Whelan/ FLASHDANCE
What makes FLASHDANCE stand out from other musicals, according to Whelan, is the tremendously dynamic and talented group of actors, singers and dancers from all over the United States. It is also groundbreaking that the musical is in so many ways a fusion of performing arts, blending modern, street, hip hop, ballet and other types of dance together to create an energizing and visually dazzling experience to the audience.  

Whelan said the audience could greatly identify and resonate with FLASHDANCE because it is a musical that defines a generation and embodies the American Dream. As a former USC student, he recounted his days as a young actor. “When I was at USC, it [FLASHDANCE] was definitely a movie that I looked up to because it completely stretched out to the American Dream,” he said.  

FLASHDANCE The Musical is the kind of show that all generations should watch because it speaks for all Americans and encourages us to, “Take your passion, and make it happen”.


Tickets start at $20 and are available online or by calling (714) 556-2787.

Reach Reporter Vanessa Hung here.



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