Photo courtesy of The Gateway
Julia Macchio stars in ‘Flashdance’
Beginning this weekend, Long Island native Julia Macchio, daughter of Ralph Macchio of “The Karate Kid,” will be starring as Alex in The Gateway’s production of “Flashdance” at the Patchogue Theatre.
In addition to her starring role, Anthony Crouchelli will join her as Nick, Amanda Downey as Gloria, Laquet Sharnell Pringle as Kiki, Steve Green Stein as Harry, Patrick LaValle as Andy, Danielle Marie Gonzales as Tess, Diane Findlay as Hannah, Ryan Williams as C.C., Vince Ortega as Joe, Erin Fish as Wilde, Chris Collins-Pisano as Jimmy and Amanda Finch as Louise. The ensemble will be Kelsey Beckert, Chaz Feuerstein, Jordan Chin, Taylor Habershaw, Zach Eisenberg, Wilfredo Munoz, Delaney Love, Taylor Pearlstein and Sarah Gold and it will be choreographed by Keith Andrews with musical direction by Andrew Austin.
With ‘80s dance music at its core, “Flashdance - The Musical” is the story of an 18-year-old named Alex who is a welder by day and “flashdancer” by night, pursuing her dreams of becoming a professional dancer. Based on the Paramount Pictures film, the musical will include hit songs including “Flashdance-What a Feeling,” “Maniac,” “Gloria,” “Manhunt” and “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,” in addition to a number of brand-new songs written for the stage.
Julia was born and raised in Suffolk County and has been dancing since she was 5 years old. She went to high school in Huntington and graduated from Hofstra University with a degree in dance. She recalls attending shows at The Gateway as a young girl, dreaming of being on the stage someday herself.
Julia, 26, was a part of the “Radio City Spring Spectacular Workshop,” which was directed by Warren Carlyle and Diane Paulus. She appeared in the films “Girl Most Likely,” “Stella’s Last Weekend,” “Wholly Broken” and “Across Grace Alley” for Netflix. She also recently played Alex as part of the “Flashdance” national tour.
Earlier this week, she took a phone interview with the Islip Bulletin.
Islip Bulletin: What can we expect from the show and how do you connect to your role as Alex?
Julia Macchio: The show is based on the film that came out in 1983. So, it’s very nostalgic. You can expect to see all the classic ‘80s moments that the movie had to offer — like leg warmers — and staple moments like the water drop, with a big dance number at the end. All of the original songs translate from the film to the stage with a little fresh new take on it.
Alex is an 18-year-old welder working at a mill in Pittsburgh with a dream to get into a prestigious ballet academy. It’s really about fighting for your dreams, no matter what obstacles come in your way, which is relevant whether it’s 1980 or 2018.
IB: What about the show do you love?
JM: I love the energy you feel from moments like the water drop and from the film that people want to relive. You know that’s what they want to see and it’s awesome.
IB: What is your favorite number?
JM: I have an original solo towards the beginning of the show about reaching and fighting for your dreams. Even if you feel like maybe you can’t do it, it’s very motivational and really hits close to home. It’s a beautiful song and the writers did an incredible job of finding music that fits the ‘80s theme.
IB: Will this be your first time performing for The Gateway and at the Patchogue Theatre?
JM: It will be my first time performing for The Gateway, but I was born and raised on Long Island and had a lot of dance competitions that took place at the Patchogue Theatre, so, technically, it’s like I am returning home, but on the stage for the first time with The Gateway.
IB: How long have you been rehearsing for “Flashdance” with The Gateway?
JM: Not that long. I did the national tour a few years ago. But I am trying to treat this as a new production. So, we have been rehearsing for the past two weeks with about 8- to 12-hour days.
IB: What’s it like working with the cast?
JM: They are incredible. Everyone is super talented and creative. There are a lot of moving parts and really everyone brought their ‘A’ game. I don’t think this production could have happened so quickly without them.
IB: OK. We have to ask. Will your father, Ralph Macchio, be there?
JM: Yes, he will be attending one or two of my performances. Actually, my whole family will be. They have been so supportive and I am very close to them.
IB: What would you say to encourage people to see the show?
JM: It’s honestly one of the most fun shows I have ever had the pleasure of being a part of. Every one of the characters is getting a backstory and the cast and crew are so incredible. It’s worth seeing!
The show will run from Aug. 31 through Sept. 15 at the Patchogue Theatre. Previews begin on Aug. 29 and prices start at $35 for students; preview tickets start at $49. Closing performance will be held on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 8 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at TheGateway.org. For more information, call 631-286-1133.
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