In a way, We Will Rock You was reminiscent of a really cheesy 80’s movie you might watch on a lonely night fueled by too much netflix and too little human contact. It may be entertaining in the moment, but the experience is something you’d have a hard time explaining seriously before 9:00 PM. The ensemble had an obvious cohesiveness about them, and many, many incredibly talented vocalists, but there was a definite lack of depth and plot in this particular musical.
Now, I realize that there has been a recent surge in the element of projection in theater, but too much of a good thing can certainly sour a show. Projection at it’s best is an interesting way to introduce a new piece of information, and is a creative way to set the scene. At it’s worst, however, it is just a distraction to the action happening onstage. More often than not, I was too focused on trying to figure out the relevance of the projected backgrounds, or trying to process why the human-esque animations behind the actors filled me with a keen sense of terror. Not to mention the show began with a ridiculous projected prologue that made me feel as if I was watching the first Star Wars movie. The script consisted mainly of one liner after song reference, and offered very little depth or plot. While it was fun to watch, it’s not a show you go to for the writing.
Despite the distracting, and sometimes downright weird, backgrounds featured during the show and a script composed mostly of one liners and song lyrics, the true talent of the cast still managed to shine through. The stars of the show, Brian Justin Crum and Ruby Lewis gave a stunningly stellar show, belting notes that I did not think possible, and truly rocking out. The chemistry they had was what made a lot of the scenes bearable, and the couple dished out power ballad after power ballad without so much as blinking an eye. The only characters I felt disappointed by were Khashoggi and the Killer Queen. The two did not bring the same energy to the show which was only made more obvious by their subpar singing.
All in all, We Will Rock You served as a decent vehicle for the epic soundtrack the Queen gives us, even if the script and concept was a bit bizarre and shallow. The title actors brought enough energy and talent to almost make me disregard the lack of it in other areas of the show, but even the grooviest Bohemian couldn’t disguise the absurd use of projections and cookie cutter characters and themes.