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"The Engine of the Future", wild and startlingly different from everyone else, Electra brings the excitement and danger of the unknown, a star presence with his entourage of Components.

Personality

Electra is arrogant, supremely self confident and self centred. Electra is very used to getting exactly what he wants, when he wants, thanks to his personal entourage who enforce his will and cater to his every desire.

Sexuality

Electra enters the show proudly proclaiming, "AC/DC, it's okay by me. I can switch and change my frequency," ("AC/DC"). This reference often goes unnoticed by younger fans of the show, but in the mid-20th century, AC/DC was common slang for bisexual[1][2]. In addition to these lyrics, Electra is also frequently seen interacting amorously with all of his components, who are traditionally portrayed by an assortment of male and female actors. Electra himself, though traditionally portrayed by a male, has been portrayed by females. In the 1987 Broadway concept album "Music and Songs from Starlight Express", "AC/DC" was sung by female vocalist Josie Aiello. This makes Electra one of the first canonically bisexual/gender fluid characters in a mainstream musical.

Role

"Oh boy, a late entry! A superstar challenger!" - Control
Electra shows up as a surprise contestant, as control tries to explain entries. His approach drains the power to the train yard, causing a black-out and loss of movement to the other characters. In most official productions, Electra descends from the ceiling, often on a moving bridge. He proceeds to sing about the many powers afforded to him by electricity. During his song, he uses his power of magnetism to draw Pearl to him.

However, Electra doesn't always get his way; during "Pumping Iron", he can often be found watching from the side in fury as he temporarily loses half his components to Greaseball's rock'n'roll appeal.

Since Pearl does not immediately react positively to Electra's invitation to be his racing partner, sent through Purse, he finds her in person and easily persuades her to race with him instead of Rusty. In the original production, Electra raced with Pearl in the second heat, earning his place in the final over Rusty and Belle. However, when the races were re-formatted to a more condensed format, Electra was moved to the first heat, where he goes head to head with Greaseball. The rivals draw in a dead heat, leaving their feud to be decided in the final race.

Starlight Express Interview with Cast - Mykal Rand (Electra)04:24

Starlight Express Interview with Cast - Mykal Rand (Electra)

During The Rap, Electra loses control of Pearl when she is charmed by Greaseball. He decides second best would be Dinah, and they race together in the uphill final. Afterwards, Dinah disconnects him, complaining that he lacks the apparatus to whistle at her ("He Whistled At Me [Reprise]"). Electra then turns to The Red Caboose, despite Caboose revealing his traitorous nature to Electra. Caboose's insane maneuverings in the downhill final end up being Electra's downfall, causing a crash that allows Rusty to take the lead, and the title.

In the original production, Electra is humiliated by losing the race, and storms off in an electric tantrum, screaming "No Comeback" in fury. Having no way to save face after such a humiliating loss, he swears to leave and never return. This song was cut from the Broadway and subsequent productions. Instead, Electra is involved in the crash that also damages Greaseball and Caboose and therefore sings "One Rock'n'Roll Too Many" with them. Afterwards, he somewhat sarcastically asks Poppa if he could be converted to steam. The very suggestion enrages his components, but all is sweetness and light by the end of the show.

Components

Electra's is often accompanied by his five minders:

  • Krupp the armaments truck
  • Wrench the the repair truck
  • Purse the money truck
  • Volta the freezer truck
  • Joule the dynamite truck/animal truck(Original West End production)

Technically, these are the trucks that he, as an engine pulls from place to place along the railroad. It seems likely, however, that they are meant to represent a rockstar's entourage, with Krupp as the security guard, Wrench as the medic or personal trainer, Purse as the accountant, Volta as the stylist, and Joule as the pet minder.

Electra's five components has been fairly continuous throughout productions, apart from the Japan/Australia tours, which increased his entourage to 8 by doubling Joule, Volta, and Krupp. The US/UK Tours reduced the components to 4 by cutting Krupp. In 2017, Krupp was cut from the Bochum production.

Appearance

Costume design

Electra is extremely attractive, elegant and powerful. His costume is a classic example of 1980s futurism, with strong angles, complex compound shapes, and futuristic metallic textures. It includes curved shoulder boxes, a chest box, and a striking mohawk wig.  As technology has advanced, so has Electra's costume, with the addition of electronic lights built in to his chest box and wig and wrist-mounted fireworks to create an arc of sparks.


The "On Ice" production completely re-invented most elements of Electra's costume, with the only obvious similarity being his signature mohawk. The lines became softer and rounder, and the color was changed from red and blue to yellow and grey.

Gallery

Photo gallery


Cast

London

1984 - 1985 Jeffrey Daniel / Tom Jobe
1985 - 1986 Tom Jobe
1986 - 1989 Maynard Williams
1989 - 1990 Koffi Missah / Mykal Rand
1990 - 1991 Mykal Rand
1991 - 1992 Greg Ellis
1992 - 1994 John Partridge
1994 - 1996 Richard Mylan
1996 - 1997 Chris Lennon
1997 - 1998 Spencer Stafford
1998 - 1999 Grant Anthony
1999 - 2002 Chris Copeland

Broadway

1987 - 1989 Ken Ard

Japan / Australia Tours

1987 David Michael Johnson
1990 Mykal Rand

Bochum, Germany

1988 - 1989 Eric Clausell
1989 - 1990 David Michael Johnson
1990 - 1991 CE Wallace Jr
1991 - 1992 Koffi Missah
1992 - 1994 Mykal Rand
1994 - 1995 John Eric Parker
1995 - 1998 Andreas Wolfram
1998 - 2000 Paul Hazel
2000 - 2001 Robert S Drummond III
2001 - 2002 Paul Jay Dudley
2002 - 2005 Richard Woodford
2005 - 2007 Leon Maurice-Jones
2007 - 2011 Andreas Wolfram
2011 - 2012 Gareth Bretherton
2012 - 2013 Matthew McKenna
2013 - 2014 Jason Guest
2014 - 2015 Mykal Rand / Paul Shipp
2015 - 2016 Jeffrey Socia
2016 - 2018 Richard Woodford

US Tour 1989 - 1991

1989 - 1991 Eric Clausell

Las Vegas 1993 - 1997

1993 - 1995 Anthony T. Perry
1995 - 1996  ?
1996 - 1997 Eric Clausell
1997 - close Reginald H Jennings

US Tour 2003 - 2004

2003 - 2004 Dustin Dubreuil

UK Tours 2004 - 2008

2004 - 2008 Mykal Rand

NZ Tour 2009

2009 Mykal Rand

UK Tour 2012-2013

2012 - 2013 Mykal Rand
Asia 2013 Mykal Rand

References

[1] "ac-dc". Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 20 Aug. 2017 <Dictionary.com http://www.dictionary.com/browse/ac-dc>.

[2] "AC/DC." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 19 Aug. 2017.

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