Dance 'til Dawn reviewI thought Dance ’til Dawn, starring Strictly’s Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace, would be a light hearted, fun evening of dance enjoyment. I wasn’t expecting a slick, well rehearsed show with an amusing plot, great ensemble numbers and actual characterisation and I certainly wasn’t expecting to be moved to tears three times by the beauty of what was taking place on stage.

Simone plays the role of Tony Deluca, a young aspiring actor in 1940’s Hollywood, while Cacace takes the part of starlet Sadie Strauss. The pair fall in love, but Deluca is then wrongly imprisoned for the murder of Sadie’s cheating boyfriend. We are taken through the rather light plot by Teddy Kempner, who plays well worn private investigator Tommy Dubrowski with a lot of heart and much humour. The tongue in cheek script is delivered excellently by both Kempner and also Abbie Osmon who brings just the right touch of Marilyn Monroe to her gun toting, all singing, all dancing nightclub owner role.

The dancing, as one would expect, is standout. The main couple deliver astounding performances time after time, including Charleston, Rumba and a great quickstep over bodies on the floor. It all culminates in an Argentine Tango that took my breath away.
The revelation to me was the rest of the dancers. They are never a single step out of time. They execute their roles perfectly and often sing while performing energetic routines.
The production is directed by Karen Bruce, who has also co-choreographed with Cacace and Simone. Despite them being undoubtedly the main stars, and the attraction for a paying audience, the show is not egotistical or self-centred in any way. They dance brilliantly in a group as well as in a pair, and no number seems like a filler, even when waiting for costume or set changes to happen. Cacace’s daring fall from a high (and I mean really high) staircase into the arms of the male dancer has to be seen to be believed.
However, the greatest thing about the whole fantastic show for me was vocalist Oliver Darley as The Voice. I have never heard such a stunning and flawless live vocal performance. His rendition of “Moon River” is quite simply the greatest version I have ever heard. Standing high above the action, his voice soared seamlessly into his higher register while Cacace and Simone danced a heartfelt dance of love below. That was the first time I cried, just from the sheer beauty of what I was witnessing.
Then came “Stand By Me”, when the wrongly imprisoned Tony Deluca receives a visit from his love, Sadie. Darley’s voice combined with the exceptional and heartfelt dancing again had me surreptitiously wiping away a tear but it was “Mi Mancherai” when the floodgates opened. Cacace and Simone dance beautifully. Their chemistry is explosive, their footwork flawless, but it was undoubtedly Darley’s vocals that lifted that performance and made it exceptional. Music and dance combined to give me one of the most heartbreakingly perfect moments on stage that I have ever seen.
I was still very emotional long after the curtain had dropped and the well deserved standing ovation had died down. I was thrilled to find Darley’s CD on sale in the foyer and promptly played it on the way home.
If you have the opportunity to watch Dance Til Dawn I strongly recommend you do. I have not enjoyed an evening like it in a long time.
Rebecca Fuller