“We Will Rock You” at the Orpheum Theatre: We Will Meet Expectations

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We Will Rock You had amazing vocals and a passionate cast but the plot had gaps and ultimately no full resolution to the conflict. While I was sitting in the Orpheum in Minneapolis, Minnesota on November 19th, I had expectations that were barely met. We Will Rock You is a musical set in a post-apocalyptic world where rock music ceases to exist. A group of outcast’s or self-labeled “bohemians” go on a quest to find this lost classic rock and over throw Global Soft, the company that only allows auto tuned pop music on the air waves. This show had some faults but redeemed itself with a few shining moments.

One of those redeeming moments was the acting of Ryan Knowles as Buddy. He portrayed the ridiculous, hippie, rock fan stereotype so perfectly and had the audience and myself laughing at every line he muttered. Ruby Lewis’ performance as Scaramouche was insane to say the least and had everyone on their feet at the end of her rendition of Somebody to Love. I wasn’t as keen on the Killer Queens’ singing. Jacqueline Arnold did not have the type of intensity a villain should have and was not intimidating in the slightest. However, the dancing that seemed to always surround the Killer Queen was impeccable and every move was not only choreographed well, but executed with enthusiasm and energy.

The technical area is where the production fell short. One fault was the excessive amount of flashing lights. The worst part of it all is that these lights were craziest at the most popular songs. When I wanted to carefully watch the stage to see how these classics were performed, I couldn’t because of the distraction of the lights. Even though the lights didn’t shine bright in my book, the costumes certainly did. The contrast of rebel rockers to robot like mannequins were outrageous in a way that was not distracting from the show, but all together made it.  

Another spectacular aspect was the crowd involvement. People were constantly cheering, clapping, stomping, and in some cases, singing along. Everyone was excitable as well, old and young alike. The younger generations would giggle at the pop culture references and the older generations would freak out over the classic music they grew up on. It was amazing to see a show bring polar opposite groups together.

However, the biggest flaw was the lack of resolution. The musical ends abruptly with no final mention of the Killer Queen and leaves one to their imagination to sort out what happened to her. Also, a character who bit the dust came out for the finale. This was confusing as the finale was still following the plot line and everyone was still in character. If this error was fixed, I would have been much more pleased with the production.

The effects were a bit too much, and the plot was strange and no end resolution was given. That being said, the best moments were when Buddy made me laugh or when Scaramouche and the rest of the cast would sing power house numbers that made the audience stand up out of their seat. While We Will Rock You had its obvious flaws, it was one of the most entertaining shows I’ve been to. Teens and die hard Queen fans will without a doubt leave the theatre singing their favorite songs.