Just over a year ago Dance ‘Til Dawn burst onto the stage down the road at the Opera House to almost universal 5 star reviews. Now the show has returned to the area even more polished and slicker than before, if that’s possible? It was also nominated for an Olivier Award in the Best Entertainment and Family category. A year on the road including a West End run certainly hasn’t resulted in one bit of fatigue.
Fusing Big Band hits, dance, romance and comedy into a smash hit spectacle, the show transports you to the seductive age of Los Angeles in the 1940’s. In the midst of a Hollywood film shoot leading man Bobby Burns is murdered and a romance develops between beautiful starlet Sadie Strauss (Flavia Cacace) and handsome Tony DeLuca (Vincent Simone). As a plot to frame Tony unfolds, the duo use their flawless footwork and spellbinding choreography to Tango and Quickstep their way out of trouble and into each other’s arms.
The story is narrated by private detective Tommy Dubrowski (Teddy Kempner), a character that would not have looked out of place in the 1980’s TV show Police Squad. Providing the majority of the funniest moments in the show his one liners and observational comments are comedic gold. A lot of hard work clearly went into the script by Ed Curtis.
Abbie Osmon as Lana Clemenza brings a touch of sex appeal to the proceedings in her Marilyn Monroe inspired performance, complete with high pitched voice and blonde hair. Osmon also provides some beautiful vocal performances in a number of songs that provide an accompaniment to Vincent and Cacace’s mesmerising dance routines. Oliver Darley adds his stunning voice to the proceedings as ‘The Voice’ although the songs were written well after the 1940’s when the show is set. This does not detract one bit from this two hour spectacle.
A highly talented ensemble play many roles throughout the evening including movie set workers, night clubbers and policemen all tightly choreographed by Karen Bruce who also directs this piece. Additional choreography unsurprisingly is provided by Vincent and Cacace themselves.
The stars of the show however are of course Vincent and Cacace who both receive rapturous applause upon their first entrance to the stage. They work their way through the rumba, the samba, the foxtrot and the paso doble before finally giving us the tango we’ve all been waiting for. Their routines help carry the story along and use the power of dance to do this with little or no dialogue at all during the whole show.
Clever set design by Morgan Large provides a busy and often cluttered stage whilst leaving acres of space for the dancers to perform. Along with thoughtful lighting from James Whiteside you can’t help be drawn into the action.
Sadly there are only two weeks left on this current tour, but judging by the standing ovation received last night it won’t be long before Vincent and Cacace are fox-trotting back into a theatre near you soon.
Reviewer: Paul Downham
Reviewed: 21st April 2015