Mercury Rising

Attempting to do for rock ’n’ roll music what Fahrenheit 451 did for books, the hit musical We Will Rock You imagines a futuristic dystopia where musical instruments and composers are forbidden and where freethinkers are forced underground in a mechanized Stepford society of computer-generated music. It’s up to a group of tattooed, rainbow-haired, stud-belted, leather-clad bohemians to save the world from itself while singing roughly 25 Queen songs that might or might not have something to do with the plot, but it’s Queen songs in a Broadway setting, so does it really matter? This jukebox musical, with a book by British cult comedian Ben Elton, has enjoyed astonishing success in the UK, including a record-breaking 11-year run at the West End’s Dominion Theatre, and it has since been seen on five continents. It promises to be a roof-shaking opening to Broadway Across America’s Miami season; there’s even a disclaimer on the Arsht Center’s website recommending usage of the venue’s free earplugs. As for that familiar-sounding Orwellian narrative, one early critic noted it had a plot “similar to a Yes concept album.” Whether that comment is complimentary or dismissive is in the eye of the beholder.
Dec. 10-15, 2013
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John Thomason