Monday, 21 April 2014

Vincent & Flavia's DANCE 'TIL DAWN (UK Tour) Review April 2014

It's the golden age of Hollywood dance, film-makers putting song and dance on the silver screen. Far from the late night bar of Buenos Aires (the setting of previous hit Midnight Tango), the formidable pair take to the stage in 1940's L.A. as Sadie Strauss (Cacace) and Tony Deluca (Simone) - the romantic leads of a comedy about a beautiful starlet and her handsome beau.

Talking through proceedings as the narrator Tommy Dubrowski is Teddy Kempner, a favourite who returns from Midnight Tango whose humour is both clever and welcome. The need for frequent plot updates is perhaps unneeded, there is excellent narration within the choreography - however, Kempner is expert at breaking up the already succinct action with witty one-liners, There is a comedic rapport with the excellent Abbie Osmon as Lana, who must get her hands on incriminating photographic evidence of her fling with Bobby Burns - the man Sadie is contracted to make films with... but of course she follows her heart (thankfully!) and teams with Simone's Tony Deluca. 

The Strictly duo are effortless in rhythm, pace and finesse, completely at one with the soundtrack - the perfect blend of 'tangoed' favourites such as Moon River, Stand By Me and more recent hits Paolo Nutini's Pencil Full Of Lead, Caro Emerald's That Man and Bruno Mars' Runaway Baby is a great, high-energy climax to Act I. The live band are excellent and the perfect accompaniment to Oliver Darley's fine vocal. 

There is an incredibly strong ensemble who master all aspects of the piece co-choreographed by the Strictly professionals and Karen Bruce, who also directed. The evening feels very much like entertainment on a cruise ship - in the best possible way and by no means derogatory - it's glamorous, it's luxurious. That feeling you only get on holiday somehow takes over you in a night of excitement, sophistication, beauty and passion. 

Dance 'Til Dawn is the perfect blend of styles and theatrical mediums and for this it's almost certainly better than the excellent Midnight Tango. It's a dance show, that is a musical, that is a masterpiece.

See the show at Birmingham New Alexandra Theatre until Saturday 26 April 2014. Book tickets here

Cast List: Flavia Cacace, Vincent Simone, Oliver Darley, Teddy Kempner, Abbie Osmon, Faye Best, Tyman Boatwright, Ivan De Freitas, Carly Mercedes Dyer, Ben Harris, Jamie-Rae Hartshorne, Annie Kitchen, Stephanie Powell, Tom Scanlon, Giovanni Spano, Danny Stowell, Gemma Whitelam, Anna Woodside. 

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