What a treat was served up at the Congress Theatre last week when dancing stars Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace and a wonderful company of other performers entertained large audiences in a musical piece entitled ‘Dance ‘til Dawn’.
The show first came to the Congress last year and proved to be so popular it had to come back as part of its’ 2015 tour.
Vincent and Flavia have become well known as a result of their appearances over the past few years as professionals on Strictly Come Dancing.
In the professional dancing world they won many Tango championships from 2002 to 2006 when they joined the BBC’s popular dancing programme.
They left the series in 2012 to do more stage work together and two years ago toured very successfully with ‘Midnight Tango’ which also came to the Congress.
Dance ‘til Dawn is a musical comedy set in the Golden Age of Hollywood Dance in 1940s Los Angeles.
The story is the usual format of a second rate private detective, Tommy Dubrowski (brilliantly played Teddy Kempner), being
asked by a sexy blonde, Lana Clemenza (a beautiful Marilyn Monroe type performance by Abbie Osman) to recover photos of her taken in a compromising position with a popular movie star.
It is, of course, corny but is merely a vehicle to provide the two dancers with a selection of different dances to demonstrate just how versatile they are.
Not only are their dances so captivating but they are backed up a troupe of brilliant dancers and singers who move the story on with exquisite and fast changing sets.
Another bonus is the wonderful singing of Oliver Darley billed only as ‘The Voice’. This tall and lanky actor brought us of some of the best music of the forties and added another dimension to the show as it rolled along to it’s happy and inevitable conclusion.
Abbie also contributed to the song sheet with her own solos and among the 24 musical numbers were such favourites as Big Noise from Winnetka, Can’t Turn You Loose, Feeling Good, I’m a Woman, Moon River and That’s Life with music provided by an eight-piece live band under the direction of Patrick Hurley.
But this is predominantly a dance show and the collaboration of Karen Bruce, the show’s director and choreographer with Vincent and Flavia, her co-choreographers, has produced a visual masterpiece of dance rarely seen on the Congress stage.
In one scene Flavia allows herself to free fall into the arms of a bunch of men waiting to catch her, which brought thunderous applause from the audience.
Their ‘tour-de-force’, the tango, was saved for the thrilling finale bringing an appreciative audience to their feet.
The advertising material in advance of the show said, ‘Dance ‘til Dawn will be an unforgettable evening of timeless sophistication and breathtaking dance.’
It certainly lived up to that prediction and the whole company are to be congratulated on providing such first-class entertainment.
Review by Harry Lederman