Vincent and Flavia’s second West End stage show is a stylish throwback to the Golden Age of Hollywood and 1940s film noir. Lessons have been learned from Midnight Tango, a show that delivered on dance but was a little light on much else. With Dance ‘Til Dawn we have a theatrical, funny and sparkling show with a storyline that is more than just a vehicle for the Strictly stars to wow us with Tango.
Teddy Tempner plays private eye, Tommy Dubrowski, who fills us in on the plot with goofy charm. He’s joined by sassy blonde starlet, Lana Clemenza (Abbie Osman), a playful femme fatale. They bounce off each other with ease and leave the audience in no doubt that this is a show that can laugh at itself as they repeatedly break the fourth wall; “This seems like the kind of place that would be perfect to close the first act!” drawls Tommy, while Lana squawks her catchphrase “I’m not happy!”, with a good deal of flounce. She’s a likeable baddie if ever I saw one.
The action begins on set of Sadie Strauss (Cacace) and Tony DeLuca’s (Simone) new film that sees them quickstepping around the floor, darting between costumes rails and lighting rigs. It’s a lively and energetic start and they’re supported by an accomplished chorus line of singers and dancers. The versatile set then seamlessly transports us to a Hollywood nightclub, and a glitzy Charleston section brings Act One to a pleasing climax.
Whereas Act One focuses on packing a punch with these big production numbers, the second act gives way to Vincent and Flavia’s smouldering chemistry, firstly by way of a bittersweet Rumba, where Strauss finds her wronged beau languishing in his cell. (For those familiar with Midnight Tango, it is essentially the ‘white dress Rumba’, with handcuffs). Fear not however, for the wronged are soon righted and there is celebration by way of a no nonsense, powerhouse of an Argentine Tango. Even by Vincent and Flavia’s standards this an intense display and the show-stopping finale is worth the ticket price by itself. Their feet blur in a burst of kicks, flicks, falls and leaps. The audience are on their feet before the number has even finished. Yes, it’s fluffy Strictly fan glitz, but done to perfection.
First published in Dance Today magazine, December 2014