Magnus Theatre’s We Will Rock You
Review by Steph Skavinski, Photos by Matthew Goertz
Take a moment and picture the world without any artistic expression: no fashion, no music, no way to differentiate yourself from anyone else. Is this a world you want to live in? I didn’t think so. Neither do Galileo Figaro the grunge kid (Adam Charles), and Scaramouche the space goth (Jessie Cox) in Magnus Theatre’s production of the dystopian rock musical, We Will Rock You.
Singing alongside a live band led by music director Danny Johnson, the cast performed to a packed house. The minimalist set with white grid lines along with two circular projection screens really lent the production a futuristic look for the “iPlanet” setting.
Full of Queen hits, the show’s format is similar to the 1999 smash hit musical, Mamma Mia! which uses the music of ABBA. The love story between Galileo and Scaramouche was not entirely compelling, but it served as one of the core story lines to weave in the more heart-felt musical numbers. The main plot of finding the “ancient and sacred poetry” of rock music from the distant past (with plenty of non-rock references thrown in – perhaps a commentary on the distortion of interpretation over time?) was the true focus of the characters, along with their band of misfit bohemians. Though there were some pitchy moments from some soloists, this didn’t take away from the show, and their high-energy performances made an overall highly entertaining and fun experience for the audience.
The real gems of the production were the self-aware comic duo found in the villains and the incredible vivacity of the chorus dancers (choreography by Julie Tomaino). Seeing Commander Khashoggi (Thunder Bay’s own Spencer Hari), and the Killer Queen (Gabi Epstein) interact on stage was like watching a glammed up Shreeky from the Care Bears order around Zoolander’s Mugatu. It was hilarious. Full of sassy attitude, their final number together, “Another One Bites the Dust” was a highlight.
The show will be running until September 23, so make sure you get your tickets early. You don’t want to be “Under Pressure” at the last minute and miss out!