Initially I was excited to see what this show had to offer in terms of many famous songs by Queen. I noticed right away in the Orpheum Theater the audience was excited to experience a great Rock musical. This story is about a group of Bohemians who struggle to find a way to express thoughts, music, and to break from society norms. Unfortunately, the musical was quite unpleasant and painful for me, physically and mentally. Not only did I leave blinded from the harsh lights, but with a ringing in my ears from the blaring music.
I enjoyed the character Scaramouche played by Ruby Lewis. When I could hear her sing, I really liked it. If it wasn’t for the blasting music I might have had a chance to hear her. I enjoyed how the band performed; I just found the volume excessive. I found Brian Justin Crum’s voice (Galileo) annoying at times. He would take many sharp breaths in as he sang and I found myself getting distracted from the song. I didn’t really understand why the songs “A Kind of Magic” and “Fat Bottomed Girls,” were put into the production. They made no sense, and didn’t flow along with the show. I couldn’t hear any of the singers at all because of how loud the band was. I would have enjoyed the song “I Want To Break Free” but I couldn’t hear anything. Ruby Lewis and Brian Crum did a really good job with harmonizing; for the little bits that I could hear. I liked how their voices sounded together. I noticed that in the first half of the show, the dancing was minimal or choreographed poorly. In the second half, the musical number “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” had decent choreography.
Acting performances were adequate but nothing special. One character I consistently liked watching in the show was Brit, played by Jared Zirilli. He had a presence about him which helped me focus on the show. Jared did an excellent job with character development. He had good physicality and convincing dialect. His character was the most enjoyable to watch.
I have to say, no show before this has ever given me a headache and ringing eardrums. I get that the show is meant to be loud, crazy and have a concert-like atmosphere. The problem is that it was overdone in many areas. Sound and lighting are the two things I have the most complaints about. I found myself squinting frequently because of the strobes that were incorporated in many parts of the musical. The lighting was not well thought out because of how bright everything was. It gave me a headache and it was unpleasant. It was hard for me to notice costumes because I was getting distracted by other problems concerning the show. But I did like what they did with the Bohemian costuming. A lot of the costumes seemed punk and very revealing. Risqué, but they helped to add an edge to the plot.
Overall, this show was not a great tribute to Queen. It was sloppy and lacked preparation in vocals, choreography, and character development. There is potential for We Will Rock You, but it needs a lot of work in order to be saved.