Ok, let’s address the obvious first; Vincent and Flavia are exceptionally talented dancers. Even though I am no Strictly Come Dancing expert, I know this. Flawless footwork, perfect timing and chemistry that ooze out of every pore, the pair recreates the magic of 1940s Hollywood in this high energy production.
What was a welcome surprise was just how good the rest of this 2 hour feast for the senses was!
Musical Director Patrick Hurley created a score rich in sounds that take the audience on a nostalgic journey to the golden era of film and showbiz, with jazz favourites like Cry Me A River and Why Don’t You Do Right. The show also added new tones to contemporary songs by Bruno Mars, Adele and Paolo Nutini which only aided the shows appeal and made it relevant to a younger audience.
Everything about this production was slick. The ensemble dancers were so fluid, strong and in tune that it was impossible to notice when our star duo were not on stage. Even the scene changes were consistent with this productions fast paced nature, with no change lasting any longer than 5 seconds while music played throughout meaning the audience were never given chance to draw breath.
This production played to the strengths of its talented cast. While Vincent and Flavia are super-star dancers, they are clearly not actors or singers; hence why neither utters a single word. But this was well masked and did not matter, as they were supported by such talented performers around them, allowing the couple to shine and do what they do best.
Oliver Darley as The Voice was captivating during his solo numbers with a range that belied his slight appearance. It was hard not to be moved by the slower songs such as Stand By Me and got a deservedly loud cheer.
The comedy was provided by Teddy Kempner who led us through the story as Tommy Dubrowski, whose comic timing was spot on and his amiable, relaxed nature instantly warmed himself to the audience. He glided in and out of the story giving it focus, never taking it away.
While the headlines will be grabbed by Vincent and Flavia, in particular the scene when Tony Deluca is falsely imprisoned, special praise must go to Abbie Osmon and her portrayal as Lana Clemenza. Driven, brimming with confidence and manipulative, Osmon collaborated wonderfully with narrator Tommy Dubrowski bringing humour and playfulness to a role that could so easily had been played as a super-bitch. Instead Lana was complex and intriguing and was the perfect vehicle to showcase the talented actress’s pitch-perfect voice.
Fancy foot work, fabulous musical score and a fun, exhilarating production!
Review by Andy Edmeads