I had not been looking forward to seeing “We Will Rock You.” Believe me, I love Queen, but I read the summary and listened to the soundtrack, and I hadn’t really cared for either of them that much. “We Will Rock You” is a jukebox musical that uses Queen songs to try to tell a story. The show was written by Ben Elton in 2002, and all the songs are written by Queen. “We Will Rock You” is set exactly 300 years in the future in a world controlled by a single corporation, where music is outlawed and so is individuality. “We Will Rock You” is playing at the Orpheum from November 19th to the 24th.
There were a few voices that stood out amongst the bad storytelling. Jared Zirilli, who played the buff Bohemian Brit, was especially good. His voice reminded me of melted chocolate, flowing along a creamy mahogany colored river. I loved his rendition of “I Want It All”. Zirilli brought a frenetic energy to an otherwise boring performance. He was strangely graceful for such a buff dude, and he prowled around the stage like a panther stalking it’s prey. Zirilli’s performance was a thing of predator-like grace and beauty. On the other hand, Brian Justin Crum, who played Galileo Figaro, was boring to watch. He could sing well, but his acting was rather two dimensional and flat. When he didn’t have lines to say or songs to sing, he just seemed to fall out of character. Galileo Figaro didn’t even have an interesting costume to distract from the lackluster performance.
The costumes looked like they had been made by someone with a mildly creepy obsession with vinyl, denim, and ratty fabric. Not to mention the codpieces that were worn by multiple background characters. Some of the codpieces had lovely patterns and designs printed on them, like for example, one codpiece had a gorgeous picture of the British flag on it.
The set was very tacky looking, especially the big video screen that came down from the ceiling every so often to show animations that looked as if they had been pulled right out of a bad eighties music video. For a show that’s supposed to take place in a world run by the internet, you would think they would have better animations. And as for the lighting, there is such a thing as too much. There were three overhead rows of lights above the stage, and spotlight pillars on the sides of the stage in addition to the usual set of spotlights. “We Will Rock You’s” lighting designer also seemed to have some sort of strange infatuation for strobe lights. The overuse of the strobes, coupled with the deafening sound system did not make for a good experience.
Overall, I would say that “We Will Rock You” is not worth seeing. The storyline only seemed to exist to string together popular Queen songs, and it didn’t even do that that well. The music was deafening, and I could hardly even look at the stage without being blinded. If you really want to go, I would advise that you not bring anyone under the age of 13, because of sexual content.