The evolution of dance merges with the 'it was better in our time’ debate in You Should Be Dancing, currently on stage at the Kalk Bay Theatre and Restaurant until 29 September 2018. Well, should you? Was it better? There’s definitely a fun moment and a music memory for everyone in this show!
The question whether there is a link between alleged music genre inspired juvenile delinquency and different types of dance throughout the ages sets the scene for You Should Be Dancing. The focus of this latest Follow Spot offering falls less on establishing a narrative to connect dance numbers and sketches, and more on highlighting the energy that underpins the evolution of dance. Primarily, the show’s entertainment value is rooted in its merging of the old with the new, without calling on anyone to decide which is better or who is right —rebels of all ages should find something to enjoy about this journey.
The cast includes four musical theatre all-rounders, Vanessa Harris, Ashely Searle, Brad Searle, and Nicole van den Berg, and everyone’s favourite Kalk Bay Theatre music man, Liam McDermott, as well as the exciting addition of dancer Caely-Jo Levy to the Follow Spot troupe.
In the conceptualisation of You Should Be Dancing, co-directors Vanessa Harris and Ashley Searle, clearly drew inspiration from their background in musical theatre. They know how to put together a show of crowd-pleasing music and moves —with the added bonus of enjoyable (instead of petrifying) audience participation— all mixed up with some witty unrehearsed-rehearsed banter to keep the theatrical mood in sync with the show’s musical beat and tone.
Although every member of this cast is undeniably talented —each bringing their own unique spark and personality to the show— on the night this reviewer saw it, Brad Searle and Nicole van den Berg stole the spotlight. Their performances throughout were amazing, both in on stage presence and technique, with Brad Searle even taking the bragging rights in the dance battle with his brother Ashley Searle.
Another stand-out moment is the reworking of the song ‘Umbrella’, which places Liam McDermott centre stage to show off his vocal skills too. Even though McDermott is best known as vocalists, this time he also tries out a few dance moves —because well, You Should Be Dancing, so he does just that with great glee— while Levy, undoubtedly a talented dancer, at times cautiously challenges herself with a few vocal experiments.
With the cast donning stylish vintage attire, this show has less of a sparkle and glitz feel than previous Follow Spot productions, yet it still exhibits their quintessential playful energy. A big fan of their sparkle-infused perrformances? Do not despair! With Vanessa Harris always getting her way (as she cheekily boasts in the show) there is definitely an element of razzle-dazzle. Even though they have toned down on the sequence, Harris made sure that especially the guys in the cast will meet your sequence expectations… even if they may think it’s a bit of a tight squeeze.
As per the billing, You Should Be Dancing ‘teases you with all the best dance inspired music with all the moves to match’. This music-cabaret-tease is all presented in the well-loved Follow Spot format —a tried and tested entertainment recipe that now has its own rap-blurb courtesy of Brad Searle. One should then not be surprised if audience members get up and dance along to their favourite songs.
Book your tickets online at www.kalkbaytheatre.co.za to secure your seats before the run ends 29 September 2018. Please note that You Should Be Dancing carries an age restriction of 13.