First thing is first. Dance ‘til Dawn is not a musical: it is a dance show with Strictly Come Dancing and Midnight Tango superstars Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace. Following the success of their competitive careers as the best Argentine Tango acts in the country, winning numerous dance awards, Simone and Cacace sweep the stage in a 1940s Hollywood live set to bring themselves closer to dance fans and ballroom lovers.
Dance ‘til Dawn is currently on a UK tour, which has reached London’s Aldwych Theatre for a 10 week run. This light and loosely made story, filled with buckets of cheese, keeps the audience’s attention with some marvellous dance performances from the magical footwork of Simone and Cacace, and a cast of enthralling dancers.
The show moves from various music and dance genres from Charleston to Quickstep, Jive to Foxtrot. There’s also Waltz, Rumba, Jazz, Ballroom, Salsa and, most of all, the tantalising Tango. Simone and Cacace display their talent, passion and eloquent movements without having to say a word; the show is devoted to them doing what they do best: providing sensual dance routines and some acting, mainly miming and innocent facial expressions, which add a touch of pity to their charming characters.
The plot line covers the journey of Sadie Strauss (Flavia) and Tony Deluca (Vincent) who develop a romance in a Dick Tracey-esque spoof, yet their love is turned upside down by wanton seductress Lana Clemenza (Abbie Osmon), who uses them to cover up her own crime of murdering her lover. There’s also a private investigator (Teddy Kempner) who drives the storyline, acting as the narrator.
This live sparkling show has a shape-shifting stage from a nightclub, courthouse, film studio and, even, a pool party – designed by Morgan Large. Classic and modern songs, created and orchestrated by Andy Barnwell and Pete Harrison, accompany the lavish choreography; this is entirely created by director Karen Bruce, and Simone and Cacace’s charismatic dance expertise. Whilst Vicky Gill ensures the costume designs are bedazzling through vintage jazz dresses, golden tassels, diamanté and velvet to complement the stunning ambience.
Oliver Darley, former winner of New Musical Express’ Vocalist of the Year, gives a scintillating performance of various ballads including ‘Moon River’ and ‘Stand By Me’ which nicely diversifies the show. Osmon pioneers her own performance of her song ‘I am a woman’ by exploding with unlimited sexuality.
Simone and Cacace portray their full scale of talents from slow ballad routines, ‘Cell Block Tango’ to Quickstep to Paolo Nutini’s ‘Pencil Fill of Lead’ where the dancers use clown-like humour to keep the audience entertained. The show ends with a perfect exit with Simone and Cacace giving a flawless Argentine Tango, which is full of power, fast movements, strength and electricity. Watching it will make you want to start learning how to dance, full stop. Admittedly, for me, the show scored low on theatricality, but five star for the dance appeal.
Review by Mary Nguyen
Dance ‘til Dawn – Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace
Book by Ed Curtis
Management: Adam Spiegel Productions
Cast: Faye Best, Tyman Boatwright, Ivan de Freitas, Carly Mercedes Dyer, Ben Harris, Jamie-Ray Hartshorne, Annie Kitchen, Abbie Osman, Stephanie Powell, Tom Scanlon, Danny Stowell, Gemma Whitelam, Anna Woodside
Director: Karen Bruce, also choreography with Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace, who also perform
Design: Morgan Large
Sound: Richard Brooker
Lighting: James Whiteside
Costumes: Vicky Gill
Musical direction: Mark Crossland
Tuesday 4th November 2014