Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Musical leaps into the art of amazing

If you love high-high-HIGH energy dancing and smooth singing, the musical Swing!, playing matinees and evenings at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre, should suit you fine. It's a paean to the age of dancing when dancing was real — swing, ballroom, jitterbug, jive, ballet and a combination of all of it.

With dancing that goes from athletic to comedic to graceful and singing that's sometimes sultry, and other times jazzy, cute, or touching, Swing! entertains and delights for almost two energy-packed hours.

Director Matthew McGee wisely eschewed the original Broadway choreography by Lynne Taylor-Corbett so that the Show Palace's choreographer Andi Sperduti could tailor each dance to the strengths and talents of his cast members and the physical requirements of the Show Palace's stage. The result is nothing short of amazing.

Music director Bill Garon's four featured singers — Sara DelBeato, Larry Alexander, Gabrielle Mirabella and Edwin Watson — do justice to every song (I got a glimpse of his opening night critique notepad and didn't see a single criticism).

Even so, there are moments that are pure magic, the most memorable when Ms. DelBeato sings a torchy Blues in the Night, as dancers Lacey Vazquez, Taavon Gamble and Maiza Ornelaz dance a torrid and heartbreaking vignette to the words. Ms. DelBeato puts the style in "song stylist," with her emotional, dramatic, note-perfect voice. Blues and her mellow I'll Be Seeing You with Ms. Vazquez and David Tanciar dancing the poignant story, with breath-taking ballroom/ballet-style lifts and leaps, will stay with you long after the curtain comes down.

Actually, the show is something of a showcase for Ms. Vazquez, as she gracefully glides in adagio through Harlem Nocturne with Shain Stroff, the two numbers sung by Ms. DelBeato and a high-steppin' Rhythm Crossover with the company.

Dancer Jarvis Mardis gets the spotlight, too, "lip-synching" on the trombone as the elegant Ms. Mirabella, looking like an Erte fashion drawing, swings in Hit Me With a Hot Note and Watch Me Bounce and shows his comedic chops dancing with the bouncy Megan Morgan as Alexander does Kitchen Mechanics' Night Out that segues into a swinging musical number, Shout and Feel It.

Ms. DelBeato charms again as she's joined by tall and likeable Watson for a tongue-twisting novelty number, Bli-Blip. Then a perky Kate O'Connell and geeky Stroff continue the fun with a comedy dance to Dancers in Love.

Set and light designer Tom Hansen sets the mood just right with his Art Deco swoops and colors caressing the stage. Costume designers Pat Werner and Ms. Sperduti match those with bright colors that blend or contrast with the mood as needed, though they didn't really find Ms. DelBeato's most becoming style until the penultimate number, Stompin' at the Savoy, when she was decked out in flowing black.

The show won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2000, and, indeed, the music is appealing. But it's the performances, both by singers and dancers, that make it fly, and the Show Palace's version doesn't just fly, it soars.

>>if you go

Catch the magic

Swing!, matinees and evenings through June 3 at Show Palace Dinner Theatre, 16128 U.S. 19, Hudson. Dinner and show, $49.50; show only, $38.45, plus tax and tip, for adults; $24.95 and $19.95 for ages 12 and younger. (727) 863-7949 or toll-free 1-888-655-7469.

Musical leaps into the art of amazing 04/28/12 [Last modified: Saturday, April 28, 2012 3:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay Times journalists wins 17 Green Eyeshade Awards

    Human Interest

    Tampa Bay Times journalists placed first in seven categories of the prestigious Green Eyeshade awards, which honors outstanding journalism in the Southeast.

  2. What you need to know for Tuesday, May 23

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    A manatee swims near the entrance to Three Sisters Springs on Kings Bay, some of many springs that feed the Crystal River in Citrus County. The Southwest Florida Water Management District is considering a proposal that would allow a decrease to the amount of fresh water flowing in the Crystal River so that water can be diverted to fuel development. Critics say similar proposals around the state could threaten Florida's environmental health. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2014]
  3. Ailing Florida springs could be tapped further to fuel development

    Water

    BROOKSVILLE — Efforts by state officials to set a minimum flow for its iconic springs have stirred up a wave of public opposition. Opponents contend the state is willing to destroy its springs in order to justify continuing to provide water for new development.

    A manatee swims near the entrance to Three Sisters Springs on Kings Bay, one of many springs that feeds the Crystal River in Citrus County. The Southwest Florida Water Management District is considering a proposal to decrease the amount of fresh water flowing in Crystal River so that water can be diverted to fuel development. Critics say similar proposals around the state could threaten Florida's environmental health. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2014
  4. Canned by lawmakers, PTC staff say they are now forgotten

    Transportation

    TAMPA — After roughly 20 years in the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Mike Gonzalez got another job with a uniform and badge when he was hired in 2015 as an inspector for the Public Transportation Commission.

    The badge that PTC inspectors carry while on duty. State lawmakers voted to abolish the agency this year leaving its remaining employees fearing for their future.
  5. Ferries from Florida not a priority for Cuban government

    Tourism

    Cruises and commercial flights now link Tampa and Havana, but before the U.S. government approved either for such journeys, ferries had the nod.

    Baja Ferries was among a handful of companies the U.S. government approved to service Cuba two years ago.
But Cuba's ambassador to the United States recently said the wait may be long. Ferries are not a high priority for Cuba.
This is an example of one of the overnight passenger ferries the  Baja Ferries wanted  to use to reach Cuba from Florida.


Photo Credit: Baja Ferries USA LLC