Perhaps the first line of Michael Sembello's "Maniac" sums up Flashdance, the movie, best: "Just a steel town girl on a Saturday night, lookin' for the fight of her life." Remember Jennifer Beals' Alex Owens? Pittsburgh welder by day, stripper who performs artsy, not-exactly-stripteases by night, dates the boss, harbors big dreams of getting into the fancy ballet academy? Flashdance, the Musical is much like that, but more so. Much, much more.
Though the original had no shortage of subplots, the book and music by Tom Hedley (with Flashdance's screenwriter Joe Eszterhas), Robert Cary, and Robbie Roth double down on the distractions, packing in 27 songs (16 in the first act alone, with five reprises). Sixteen are new, with plot additions galore. The worst of these might be the transformation of Michael Nouri's sexy daddy figure/boyfriend Nick into a bland, baby-faced, country clubber (played by a genial Corey Mach) without much to offer in the way of interest besides persistent insecurity, and "Here and Now," a solid "Up Where We Belong"-ish duet with Alex. Still, the touring production, like both Alex and her mostly critically panned movie, has an endearing quality that transcends its circumstances.