Dancing through a golden age

vincent and flavia 

Dance ‘Til Dawn

The New Alexandra Theatre

*****

FANS of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing adored last night’s performance of Dance ‘Til Dawn with Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace. And they had every reason to. A superb show peppered with dazzling talent from all on stage made for an enjoyable evening with a feel good factor.

Cacace and Simone are the stars of the show, impressing the audience with unbelievable moves and even better muscles. For two hours, their spectacular technique and intimate chemistry never ceased to entertain.

In a story set in the Golden age of Hollywood Dance, Cacace and Simone play the parts of A-Listers Sadie Struss and Tony Deluca. No words are uttered from their lips throughout the whole performance. Indeed, their portrayal of deep and passionate emotion was so strong through dance, that dialogue was not needed. We understood what was conveyed perfectly as we saw gorgeous Argentine Tango’s, roaring Charlestons and other familiar dances unfold.

The night was all about the dancing and the plot took a step back, however the gangster-style story of the 1940s was delivered well with narrator style acting to keep the buzz alive. Teddy Kepner was a humorous delight as Tommy Dubrowski, the man who saw everything. He is the charming and funny go-between from stage to audience. Within his writing, Ed Cutis made sure that tongue-and-cheek jokes were constant from this character.

Cacace and Simone were the rightful stars of the show but helpful elements made Dance ‘til Dawn a truly spectacular experience. Abbie Osmon was also a delight to watch as she played blonde bombshell Lana Clemenza. Her high-pitched American voice and stylised performance had the audience in fits of laughter.

The dancing alone was enough to take the audience’s breath away. However, the added angelic voice of Oliver Darley was a wonderful background to Cacace and Simone’s numbers. As they danced, Darley sung with a voice that is close to unforgettable. His sweet renditions of Moon River and Ben E. King’s Stand by Me were particularly mesmerising. Darley gave the already beautiful choreography an extra dazzling shine.

Dance ‘Til Dawn is a great partnership between musical theatre and superb choreography. The chorus gave an extra razzle-dazzle element with bundles of energy. This is a show for lovers of popular song, a taste for dance and seekers of fun. Not forgetting of course a view of 2013’s rear of the year winners themselves. To 14-02=15

Elizabeth Halpin

09-02-15.

An electric follow-up

****

DURING the whole of this exhilarating show involving film stars and gangsters, Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace never speak a word. They let their feet do the talking, and how!

The former Strictly Come Dancing pair are electric in the follow-up to their hugely successful Midnight Tango, thoroughly deserving the standing ovation received from a large section of the first night audience.

Set in 1940s Hollywood, the storyline is fairly lightweight, littered with tongue-in-cheek humour, a murder and the romance between starlet Sadie Strauss (Flavia) and Tony Deluca (Vincent).

They are able to parade a whole range of their brilliant dancing skills, even when partially hidden under two large cardboard boxes, and later producing a stunning routine chained together and between the bars of a jail.

And there is a particularly moving sequence with the excellent Oliver Darley, appropriately listed in the programme as The Voice, singing Moon River.

He is superb with several other big numbers, too.

While the dancing is almost non-stop, how do we grasp the story? That is thanks to the amusing Teddy Kempner, playing the chunky, cigar-smoking private investigator Tommy Dubrowski, who is also the compere, delivery lines like ‘Since my wife left me, I’m so miserable it’s like she’s still here’.

Lovely performance, too, from Abbie Osmon, playing night club singer cum gangster’s moll Lana Clemenza, while the whole cast of cops, crooks and gorgeous girls perform with breathtaking skill to the choreography of Simone, Cacace and director Karen Bruce. To 14-02-15

Paul Marston 

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