Dance 'Till Dawn (Tour - Manchester)
Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace recall the Golden Age of Hollywood, but the show is neither musical or dance piece and does not move you like Midnight Tango
Strictly Come Dancing gave Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace the perfect show case, as every week for three minutes they were able to highlight what makes them great dancers. Whenever they were on screen, you forgot that the show was about celebrities learning new tricks.
The show Midnight Tango saw them on the road and in the West End for two visits, so it was inevitable that they would return with a new show. And on paper Dance 'Till Dawn seems tailor made for these two dancing pros. We recall the Golden Age of Hollywood Dance and you can see that the piece is inspired by the likes of Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse.
Unfortunately, Ed Curtis' book is neither musical or pure dance piece. So, instead we have Teddy Kempner spelling out all of the plot developments as Tommy Dubrowski. The effect feels like the dance equivalent of 'Speak and Spell.' This makes Vincent and Flavia's roles almost redundant. These two are so talented that through the power of dance, they do not need dialogue. Here, though. ensemble members sing all around them and because they cannot join in, they resort to mugging on the sidelines like characters in the Oscar winning film The Artist.
All is not lost, though, as the dynamic duo do get to show us what they are made of with a dazzling Argentine Tango and there are a few gob-smacking sequences. One involves the two on the run and it's dazzling. The inclusion of contemporary music such as Bruno Mars' "Runaway Baby" and Adele's "Rumour Has It" feels lazy though and jars slightly with the homage to a time gone by.
Oliver Darley's voice is simply stunning and he brings high emotion to the fore whenever he is on stage. His "Feeling Good" does exactly that and then some. Abbie Osmon is suitably kooky as the daft and dappy Lana Clemenza and she can truly sing. The ensemble are excellent and hold their own alongside the Strictly stars.
As for the headliners, they are great when on stage but because there is so much going on - on every level of Morgan Large's vast set design - they sometimes get lost in the mix.
Dance 'Till Dawn is fun, undemanding and has some great moments. But as a tribute to Hollywood dance duos, you may be tempted to seek out the original films or buy Midnight Tango on DVD to see these two at their absolute best.
Dance 'Till Dawn is at the Manchester Opera House until 22 March. For full tour dates, please click here.