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'Flashdance the Musical,' 'Jekyll & Hyde' top Ruth Eckerd Hall's Broadway season

On the count of three, everyone run to the closet and grab a sweatshirt from the 1980s. Now, cut off the neck. Now, drape it flirtatiously over one shoulder. You're obviously ready for Flashdance the Musical.

It joins the Broadway lineup at Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall for the 2014-15 season, announced Tuesday. Flashdance the Musical (Jan. 24), tells the story of Alex Owens, Pittsburgh welder and risque nighttime dancer who dreams of making it big and being legit. You already know the Jennifer Beals movie from 1983, but rest assured the stage adaptation has all the song staples, including What a Feeling, Maniac and Gloria.

Flashdance joins other musicals rife with accessible songs you already know and love. Smokey Joe's Cafe (Dec. 6), a tribute to songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, brings songs like Hound Dog, Stand By Me, Jailhouse Rock and Spanish Harlem to the stage.

And the most well-known songs of all come back to Ruth Eckerd Hall with Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles (April 25, 2015), which returns for a repeat engagement after a popular stop here in 2013. It includes a full range of Beatles tunes, with some they recorded but never performed for an audience. Expect to hear I Want to Hold Your Hand, Hard Day's Night, Let It Be, Come Together and more.

Classic institutions of Broadway balance out the pop music. Guys and Dolls (Jan. 4) is the quintessential New York City romantic comedy musical based on the short stories of Damon Runyon. Chicago (Feb. 6 and 7) tells the toils of fame, fortune, bad decision making and whether or not he had it coming. And Cole Porter's Anything Goes (March 18) brings the enduring Broadway standards with I Get a Kick Out of You and You're the Top. Who can resist?

Jekyll & Hyde (March 2) pits good versus evil in the dramatic musical adaptation of the story by Robert Louis Stevenson. And in case you need some laughs after that one, I Love Lucy Live on Stage (March 24 and 25) adapts the TV show for live audiences, taking a show-within-a-show approach that looks behind the filming of two episodes of I Love Lucy in 1952. Finally, Lucy gets to be in the show.

Tickets go on sale to members April 21 and to the public May 9. Call (727) 791-7400 or visit rutheckerdhall.com.

'Flashdance the Musical,' 'Jekyll & Hyde' top Ruth Eckerd Hall's Broadway season 04/15/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 10:20am]

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