There is no getting around the fact that the death of frontman Freddie Mercury left an enormous void in the entity that is Queen. Still, they have managed to soldier on with various talents such as Paul Rodgers of Bad Company and American Idol Adam Lambert.
These outings are rare, so for those who crave their Queen in a big stage production kind of way, there is We Will Rock You The Musical by Queen and British comedian and writer Ben Elton. Starting a week-long run at The Academy of Music in Philadelphia on January 14, the upgraded North American tour promises “more laughs, more technology and even more Queen songs to love.”
We Will Rock You is in its 12th year in London’s West End, and has been seen in local productions in 17 countries. A few tweeks, most notably cultural shifts, have been made from the original script and will be reflected in the U.S. performances.
With plenty of sexy costumes and special effects, you don’t have to be a major Queen fan to enjoy this production suitable for anyone over 10 years of age.
The show takes place in a futurist timeframe with a classic storyline of globalization vs. individuality. Rebel Bohemians wait for a hero savior to bring the power of rock back to the people, where it belongs as the music of Queen is interwoven throughout the performance.
Lyrical references also become characters such as Scaramouche and Galileo. Many Queen favorites are spotlighted including “You’re My Best Friend,” “We Will Rock You/We are the Champions,” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.”
The scoring is simply phenomenal, thanks to the involvement of Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor. Guitarist May says “The amazing bonus is that people definitely come out of the there feeling that in a strange way they now know us, Queen, and our struggle, our journey.”
January 14-19: Tuesday-Thursday 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 6:30 p.m.; Saturday 2 p.m., 8 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m., 6:30 p.m. The Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St., Philadelphia. $20-$105. Visit www.kimmelcenter.org for details.