Fresno Beehive

They will rock you. This jukebox musical has no problem with the audience singing along

The cast of the Queen-inspired jukebox musical “We Will Rock You.”
The cast of the Queen-inspired jukebox musical “We Will Rock You.” RJF PRODUCTIONS

There’s a thing that’s happened every night during the touring run of the Queen-inspired jukebox musical “We Will Rock You.”

It happens midway through the second act, just as the band kicks into ”Another One Bites the Dust.”

“That bass line hits and the room just goes into an uproar,” says Morrissa Nicole, a Canadian singer and actress, who is part of the play’s ensemble.

Invariably, people start singing along.

“That just encourages us,” she says.

A staid musical, this is not.

The play, which is in the midst of a North American tour and stops Thursday at Warnors Theatre in downtown Fresno, takes its name and music from the classic rock band. It was written with help from Queen guitarist Brian May and had the band’s stamp of approval when it opened in London’s West End in 2002.

It had a 12-year run.

This is a fictional tale, a “futurist comedy” set in a world where rock and roll is just a memory. There’s an all-powerful corporate overlord — Globalsoft — and a group of rebels known as the Bohemians who have taken up the names of forgotten rock stars.

So, Nicole plays Bruce Springsteen.

Mostly, this is Queen’s greatest hits in performance. The show features 24 of the band’s most iconic songs — “Another One Bites the Dust,” obviously, along with “Radio Ga Ga,” “Under Pressure” and “No-One but You (Only the Good Die Young).”

That’s Nicole’s favorite, the one that “touches her heart.”

“It’s fun to present the music on stage,” she says.

“And we get to do that every night, in a different city.”

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Joshua Tehee covers breaking news for The Fresno Bee, with a focus on entertainment and a heavy emphasis on the Central Valley music scene. You can see him share the area’s top entertainment options Friday mornings on KMPH’s “Great Day” and read more of his work here.
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