Queen Musical 'We Will Rock You' Headed to Philly's Academy of Music

Brian Justin Crum, Robert DeNiro and Ruby Lewis
Brian Justin Crum, Robert DeNiro and Ruby Lewis

For twelve years, British comedian/playwright Ben Elton and actor/producer Robert DeNiro’s Tribecca Theatrical Productions have made a smash hit of their Queen musical, We Will Rock You on London’s West End. Rather than take a biographical look at the late Freddie Mercury and Co., their long-running extravaganza is a fictional tale of free-thinking Bohemians looking to return rock n’ roll – via Queen hits – to a world without music.  In October, a U.S. national tour of We Will Rock You opens at Baltimore's Hippodrome Theatre, and has Philadelphia dates scheduled for January 14 through 19, 2014 at the Academy of Music (240 S. Broad Street). Tickets will go on sale shortly.

Robert DeNiro certainly has a busy schedule this week. His next film, the Abscam-based drama American Hustle (co-starring Philadelphia-born Bradley Cooper), is currently in post-production for holiday 2013 release. On September 25, it was announced that DeNiro would take the place of the late James Gandolfini as the leading man in HBO's Criminal Justice mini-series (Gandolfini remains the series’ producer, posthumously). Still, the 70 year old thespian found time to stop by a New York City rehearsal of We Will Rock You, where DeNiro was greeted by the production’s two leads, Brian Justin Crum (“Galileo”) and Ruby Lewis (“Scaramouche”).

We Will Rock You might not be the Freddie Mercury biography we hoped for when Sacha Baron Cohen was set to play the late Queen vocalist (Cohen dropped out because Brian May and Roger Taylor wanted to whitewash all references to Mercury’s death from AIDS complications). Still, twelve years and counting on London's West End is a great recommendation, and any chance to hear “We Are the Champions” and "Bohemian Rhapsody" blasted out from huge speakers is a worthwhile opportunity.

Photo: Maia Stern

Posted on Friday, September 27, 2013