Story & Photographs by Diane Fleischman
Imagine a futuristic world where individually, fashion, and music doesn’t exist, a world that is technology driven by a company called Globalsoft, and a small group of rebels, Bohemians, who overturn this corporate conglomerate to restore freedom and rock and roll.
Fortunately, this is not the world we live in, but rather the plot of We Will Rock You, a musical, that highlights the music of Queen performed at the PPL Center Sunday night, their only Pennsylvania appearance.
This musical jukebox of Queen songs enjoyed a successful twelve-year run in London’s West End, at the Dominion Theatre. The production of We Will Rock You has been touring the globe for the last several years, currently on a North American tour that winds down in February 2020.
The show begins in year 2302, we met Galileo, our hero in this story, a young man who hears voices in his head that feed him the lyrics to classic rock songs, and his desire to break free. He is joined by love interest, Scaramouche, as they fight the control of Globalsoft, led by Killer Queen. The home base for the rebels was the abandoned Hard Rock Café in Las Vegas, they worshipped a statue named Mercury, that provided their strength and determination to search the world for the Holy Axe and the lost riff. Along their journey they solved the mystery, the Holy Axe was bestowed upon to the King, and their travels continued to Graceland. As it turned out, the Holy Axe was a replica of Brian May’s Red Special. Scaramouche was able to unlock the lost riff as she took the guitar away from Galileo, and the ensemble closed the performance with “We Are The Champions/We Will Rock You”.
While most will agree, the plot lacks complexity, it succeeds with the music and theatre experience. Some portions of the script have been updated to reflect today’s rock stars, and there is a great deal of humor that kept the audience laughing. The true gems are the 24 Queen songs that are performed, the talent of the ensemble in both song and dance that celebrates the music of Queen that keeps fans flocking in drones. As this show allows more space than a Broadway stage, there is room for elaborate lighting. There was great use of prismatic lights in “A Kind of Magic”, and full on spotlights and strobes in “Headlong” that were spectacular.