9-14 June, 2014
Reviewed by Tammy Linsell
How do I tell you this? I’ll say it straight off and get it out of the way. I have never seen “Strictly Come Dancing”, and I hadn’t ever heard of Flavia Cacace or Vincent Simone. Indeed, were I to have encountered them in Sainsbury’s yesterday morning I would have been quite unaware that I was within the presence of somebody famous.
All that changed last night when I had the pleasure of going to see their show “Dance ‘Til Dawn”, at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle. The cheer that greeted Simone and Cacace when they stepped on to the stage put me right about several things. That I was in the presence of greatness, that my ignorance placed me into a minority of one, and that I should be spending less time on Saturday evenings engrossed in the sports channels.
The show did have a plot though I didn’t really follow it. Briefly, Flavia Cacace plays Hollywood star Sadie Strauss who falls for actor Tony Deluca (Vincent Simone) and their story is acted out through a series of fabulously energetic dance routines. The spellbinding dancing was all that mattered and there was plenty of it. The skill and precision of Simone and Cacace meant I couldn’t take my eyes off them, but the remainder of the cast were equally as good even if they are not (yet) household names. One could only marvel at the sheer athleticism of the performers who never looked tired or out of breath, and made it look so easy.
There was some fine comic acting from both Teddy Kempner (playing Tommy Dubrowski) who’s role is essentially that of a narrator, and Abbie Osmon (playing Lana Clemenza). Abbie also has a beautiful signing voice and brought the house down with her rendition of “That’s Life”, which I’ve only ever heard sung by men before but this was by far my favourite version. Special mention must be given to Oliver Darley who sang the majority of the musical numbers. His voice is like melting treacle. Why have I not heard of this man before I wonder? I’ll undoubtedly be looking him up on Google to see what else he’s done. Oliver singing “Moon River” was to die for and to my mind far superior to the versions made famous by Danny Williams and Andy Williams.
Accompaniment was provided by a proper band, with real musicians, as in a trumpeter, drummer, trombonist, violinist, saxophonist, guitar and piano players, and not the recorded/synthesiser fare we so often come across these days. The music and orchestration was by Chris Egan.
The show is a little shorter than most, running from 7.30pm and finishing at 9.15pm. This is probably because the performances are so energetic it would have been hard to sustain them for much longer. It was a fine cast but Simone and Cacace were who people had paid to see and they didn’t disappoint, remaining on stage for the vast majority of the evening.
The Theatre Royal is situated in central Newcastle with reasonable parking, and a major bus terminus nearby. Many of the restaurants on Grey Street do “Theatre Deals” on production of your tickets. The upstairs bar is open from 7pm.
Tickets cost from £13 (plus £1.45 booking fee).
Dance ‘Til Dawn is at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle until Saturday 14 June 2014. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 08448 112121.
Theatre Royal, 100 Grey St, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6BR | 08448 112121