Thursday, December 5, 2013

The music of Queen comes to Fort Myers as "We Will Rock You" hits on Dec. 17

Jacqueline Arnold in the national tour of We Will Rock You. © Paul Kolnik
"We Will Rock You" kicks off the Broadway season at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall. Really, we don't count "Mamma Mia!" Seriously.

The show uses the songs of Queen - attached to a book from the writer of "Mr. Bean." Yeah. And it is billed as a "rock theatrical." I. Cannot. Wait. It has run for 12 years in the West End. Let's hope Fort Myers is ready for a "Bohemian Rhapsody!"

Here's my preview:


© Paul Kolnik

Music of Queen promises Fort Myers: 'We Will Rock You' next week!
Tracey Flye has loved the music of Queen since high school. "They have such a huge canon," she told me. No surprise then that she's been with Queen musical "We Will Rock You" since its North American debut in 2007. Wait. A Queen .. MUSICAL?

Heroes Galileo and Scaramouche find a statue of Freddie Mercury, which leads to an electric guitar. After a medley of "Tie Your Mother Down," "We Will Rock You," and "We Are the Champions," rock music is saved and the evil Killer Queen is defeated.

Flye admits that maybe a jukebox musical with the music of Queen isn't the first thing you might think of as a blockbuster hit. But remember, this one has played five continents. It just hasn't played Broadway. "Nothing surprises me anymore," she laughs. "I worked on 'Mamma Mia!" (read the full preview)

"We Will Rock You" runs Dec. 17-22. Tickets are $34-$69. Call (239) 481-4849 or online at www.bbmannpah.com.  For more information on the show, visit wewillrockyou.com and schoolswillrockyou.com.

Complete press release below.


QUEEN AND BEN ELTON’S WE WILL ROCK YOU OPENING DECEMBER 17th AT THE BARBARA B. MANN PERFORMING ARTS HALL
                                                                             
(Fort Myers, FL) The worldwide smash hit ‘rock theatrical’, Queen and Ben Elton’s We Will Rock You, built around 24 of Queen’s biggest hits, comes to the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall December 17th through the 22nd. We Will Rock You is produced by Queen Theatrical Productions, Tribeca Theatrical Productions, Phil McIntyre Entertainment and NETworks Presentations. The Fort Myers engagement is part of the Fifth Third Bank Broadway Series.

This hilarious, multi-award-winning and record-breaking phenomenon is created by celebrated British comedian and writer Ben Elton (TV’s “Mr. Bean” and “The Young Ones”), and boasts a fantastic score of Queen’s biggest songs including “Another One Bites The Dust”, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, “We Are The Champions,” “Bohemian Rhapsody” and, of course, “We Will Rock You.” 

Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor are musical supervisors to the show, taking an active role in casting the singer/actors and musicians for every production worldwide.

The show is in its 12th year at The Dominion in London’s West End, one of London Theatreland’s biggest theatres, making it the venue’s longest-running production ever. We Will Rock You is now officially the 9th longest running show in the West End and was crowned the UK’s favorite show at the 2011 Olivier Awards, the UK equivalent of the Tony Awards, in a category voted entirely by members of the public.

Outside of the UK, the show has now been seen in local productions in 17 countries, playing to an audience of over 15 million people.

We Will Rock You takes place in a future age on a planet once called Earth that is now controlled by a mighty corporation. Globalization is complete. Individuality is taboo. Everyone watches the same movies, wears the same clothes and thinks the same thoughts. Music is generated by the corporation’s computers, rock music is unheard and all musical instruments are banned. The hope of breaking free rests with an unlikely resistance – an alliance of rebel Bohemians, waiting for a hero to lead the battle to bring the power of rock back to the people.

“This show is all about legend,” says Ben Elton. “We take the legend of Queen and create our own fantastical story of young kids battling the mighty corporation who wants to suppress their individuality and their love of music. They need a hero who can help them in their struggle, and we have two – the dreamer Galileo, and the sassy rock chick Scaramouche. Guess who ends up winning?”

“Creating the show with Ben was very much a three-way thing,” says Roger Taylor. “It was great because he was a pleasure to work with and because he has such a fertile mind. He never stops churning out ideas.”

Elton updates his book regularly, keeping the satirical edge of his script totally relevant to the time and location of the production.

Brian May adds, “The amazing bonus is that Ben's script subtly works as a metaphor too. People definitely come out of the theatre feeling that in a strange way they now know us, Queen, and our struggle, our journey.”

The original production of We Will Rock You is a Phil McIntyre Entertainment, Tribeca Theatrical Productions and Queen Theatrical Productions presentation.  Book and direction by Ben Elton. Music and Music Supervision by Queen/Roger Taylor and Brian May. Musical staging and choreography by Arlene Phillips. Production Design by Mark Fisher and Lighting Design by Willie Williams. Sound by Bobby Aitken. Costumes by Tim Goodchild. Tracey Flye is the Associate Director and Associate Choreographer of the North American tour.

Queen Theatrical Productions is a production entity created especially by the band’s parent company Queen Productions Ltd to handle the development and production of We Will Rock You.

Headquartered in New York, Tribeca Theatrical Productions was founded in 2001 by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal, the acclaimed producers of the Meet the Parents franchise, Analyze This and Wag the Dog. Through Tribeca Theatrical Productions, De Niro and Rosenthal co-produced, along with Queen Theatrical Productions and Phil McIntyre Entertainment, the theatrical musical We Will Rock You, based on the music of Queen.

Since 1995, NETworks has produced and managed over 55 touring productions in the US., U.K. and internationally. Current productions include Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Blue Man Group National Tour, Elf The Musical, Flashdance the Musical, The National Theatre of Great Britain’s production of War Horse, Memphis the Musical, and Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera.

For more information about We Will Rock You, please visit wewillrockyou.com and schoolswillrockyou.com.


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Performance Dates:      Tuesday, December 17 – 7:30PM
                                    Wednesday, December 18 – 7:30PM
                                    Thursday, December 19 – 7:30PM
                                    Friday, December 20 – 8:00PM
                                    Saturday, December 21 – 2:00 & 8:00PM
                                    Sunday, December 22 – 1:00 & 6:30PM

Ticket Prices:               $69       $54       $44       $34

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