Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Musical revue 'Jackpot!' a rousing good bet at Show Palace Dinner Theatre

Janie Wallace performs in Jackpot!, an all-music, all-dancing production  in which dancers bring an acrobatic spectacle to familiar songs. The show runs through April 22 at  the Show Palace Dinner Theatre.

Courtesy of Scott Daniel

Janie Wallace performs in Jackpot!, an all-music, all-dancing production in which dancers bring an acrobatic spectacle to familiar songs. The show runs through April 22 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre.

The Show Palace Dinner Theatre's new all-music, all-dancing show, Jackpot! is like a really good night at the roulette table — lots of wins with only a few disappointments.

The biggest wins are singer Larry Alexander, a former Broadway performer and opening act on Liza Minelli's World Concert Tour, and the eight-member dance team, whose steps go from silky smooth in Act 1 to daring, devilish and dangerous in Act 2. Although all the dancers are terrific, don't be surprised if you can't take your eyes off Taavon Gamble, who, like Cassie in A Chorus Line, is a total eye magnet, with lithe moves and a relaxed style that makes you think, "Cheezum, I want to get up there and dance with that guy."

Never mind that the moves by choreographers Eric Neilsen and Andi Sperduti would challenge an Olympic acrobat team — these dancers make it all look like nuthin' but fun.

The music list is 95 percent "songs made famous by" everyone from Sinatra to Elivs to Elton John and ZZ Top, but the four featured Show Palace performers put their own sound and style to each one.

The most successful is Alexander, whose What Kind of Fool Am I, My Way, Piano Man, and Don't Let The Sun Go Down on Me are near show-stoppers. What a voice — perfect pitch, power and passion, the likes of which are rarely heard in any venue in these parts.

Singers Janie Wallace, Jack Bartholet and Jennica McCleary shine when they do songs suited to their style, but sometimes seven out when tackling others.

Bartholet's biggest coup is the wailing I'm Feeling Good, covered by everyone from Adam Lambert to John Coltrane and Michael Buble. Batholet does vocal calisthenics with the torchy, feel-great lyrics. McCleary hits a high peak in her low register semi-dramatization of the Elvis favorite, Suspicious Minds, giving a glimpse at what she could do with a real dramatic role in a book show.

Wallace hits her high point with the Celine Dion favorite, Power of Love, as she stands in the spotlight in a simple white with black trim dress and just, well, sings.

The consistent stars, though, are those dancers — Bo Price, Megan Morgan, Jarvis Mardis, Kate O'Connell, Lacey Vazquez, David Tanciar, Maiza Ornelaz and Gamble — who risk life and limb for 95 minutes, adding spectacle to song with touches of Cirque during the second act opener Believe and the violent, reckless, early 20th-century Parisian street gang dance called Apache (pronounced ah-PAHSH) later on.

This style, where the male manhandles his female partner as though they're in some kind of back-alley combat, is most on display in Welcome to Burlesque, when McCleary gives a fine nod to the Cher anthem as the female dancers, clad in costume designer Scott Daniel's red and black bustiers, and the males in skimpy tops and tight trousers, do a scene straight out of the Apocalyptica video I Don't Care.

Tom Hansen's set and lighting serve the show just right, never overpowering either dancers or singers, but adding to the overall heft. Stan Collin's musical direction is spot on, though I suspect he cranks up the sound track volume when he senses that the singer isn't quite hitting the mark (Bartholet's Crocodile Rock, and Wallace's Yellow Brick Road, for example). Indeed, it's the unusual singer who can go from Rat Pack to Billy Joel to the vocal gymnastics of an Elton John song without a few warbles, so though that sound track is sometimes deafening, it can be welcome.

To put it in La Vegas lingo, director Scott Daniel's troupe riffles the cards, goes all in and plays the rush, and the big winners are the people in the audience who get to play laddermen as these high rollers deliver a nifty payout .

.if you go

Vegas glitz

Jackpot!, an all-singing/dancing show, matinees and evenings through April 22 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre, 16128 U.S. 19, Hudson. For adults, dinner and show, $49.50, show only, $38.45, plus tax and tip; for ages 12 and younger, $24.95 and $19.95. Call (727) 863-7949 in west Pasco; toll-free elsewhere at 1-888-655-7469.

Musical revue 'Jackpot!' a rousing good bet at Show Palace Dinner Theatre 03/03/12 [Last modified: Saturday, March 3, 2012 4:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Navy expected to relieve admiral in charge of 7th Fleet in response to deadly disasters at sea

    Nation

    The Navy will relieve the senior admiral in charge of the service's 7th Fleet based in Japan in response to four embarrassing accidents this year, two of which killed sailors at sea, two U.S. officials said.

    Tugboats assist the guided-missile destroyer John S. McCain on its way to Changi Naval Base in Singapore on Monday. [U.S. Navy]
  2. Trump chides media over Charlottesville

    National

    President Donald Trump is blaming the media for the widespread condemnation of his response to a Charlottesville, Va., protest organized by white supremacists that led to the killing of a counter-protester.

    Trump met service members before the rally.
  3. Jones: Koetter-Winston exchange highlights latest 'Hard Knocks'

    Bucs

    There are certain things that make HBO's Hard Knocks must-see television.

    Jameis Winston, left, has an exchange with Dirk Koetter that highlights Hard Knocks.
  4. Rays are full of ideas they'd like to share when commissioner visits

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Commissioner Rob Manfred is coming to the Trop today. Hmm. Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg will be there to greet him. Hmmmm. And they have a scheduled joint media session. Hmmmmmmmmm.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred isn’t expected to say anything definitive about the Rays’ stadium situation when he visits the team today.
  5. Mayor Rick Kriseman endorsed by another police union

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman is already backed by the city's largest police union, the Suncoast Police Benevolent Association.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman has secured another police union endorsement