Saturday, January 22, 2011

review - Ballroom With a Twist

CRITIC'S PICK
Ballroom With a Twist
conceived & choreographed by Louis Van Amstel
El Portal Mainstage
through February 13

Fans of TV's Dancing With the Stars will be in heaven during this live performance of Ballroom With a Twist created by the TV show's Louis Van Amstel.

Van Amstel stars along with guest hostess Niecy Nash (Jan 21-23), Jane Seymour (Feb 4-6) and possible other celebrity hosts, 20 top dancers and two American Idol finalists, singers Gina Glocksen and David Hernandez at the classy El Portal. The show is so electrically charged that it is guaranteed to keep audience members jumping for joy.

Nash, known to TV audiences from Clean House, is one funny lady who is not afraid to go out on a limb and dances, as she did on Dancing with the Stars - not without whining - with partner, smooth Van Amstel, until she literally drops to the floor. In true diva style she takes mic in mind while still on the floor panting and motions for one of the dancers to help her to her feet. It's a priceless moment. Van Amstel's stamina is truly amazing! This company of dancers, in fact, all have sensational stamina and dexterity and are perhaps the prettiest group of people to be seen on a Hollywood stage. Scantily clad for many numbers, guys shirtless and gals showing plenty of leg and midriff, they create eye candy galore. It is surely not in vain that the opening song is Burt Bacharach's "The Look of Love", atmosphere which suits the entire sexy entourage. Featured dancers from Dancing With the Stars include: Alec Mazo, Jonathan Roberts, Edyta Sliwinska and Anna Trebunskaya, all demonstrating consistently terrific moves.


Twist shows the new spin on dancing which began with the TV show's phenomenal presentation of the waltz, tango, merengue, samba, salsa, etc boldly executed with lots of acrobatic moves. It makes the dancers exciting - no, chilling - to watch. An added surprise in the stage show which comes in Act II is a dance lesson for and with the audience, taught by Van Amstel. Yep, folks, you'll get up and shake your booty. If I can do it, so can you! Fun, fun, fun!

Singing highlights from Hernandez and Glocksen, who are both shining stars, include: "Feeling Good", "Can't Stop the Beat", "Rescue Me", "The Prayer", "Imagine", among others. The dancers strut their stuff to the recorded: "I Got Rhythm", "I Had the Time of My Life" from Dirty Dancing in hip-hop style, "Sorry Seems to Be the Saddest Word", and a slick country "Girls Gone Wild". There's a heavy emphasis on Latin rhythms in Act II with the Argentinian tango, merengue and even a little flamenco thrown in. It's an eclectic, flashy mix that drives the audience wild, especially the young girls who scream out for Hernandez and the hot male dancers.

Costumes by Randall Designs in blacks, blacks and reds are fab. Background projected visuals of explosive light and color add fuel to the fire, as this is one HOT evening you do not want to miss! Through February 13 only! You know you were born to dance, so get out and go!!

5 out of 5 stars
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for tix call 866-811-4111 or 818-508-4200 or visit:
www.elportaltheatre.com

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