Photo – 3 Fates Media
After a sold-out season of Now and Then, Melbourne choreographer Michael Ralph has followed up his success with another powerful piece. Hollywood Honky Tonk is a double bill performance that unites old school style with a contemporary soundtrack that will leave the audience breathless.
Opening in a dingy piano bar, the twelve exceptional dancers play out their own personal storylines of revenge, addiction, lust and unrequited love to the sounds of Beyonce, Gin Wigmore and Lady Gaga.
Maxwell Trengrove and Victoria Rimington are red hot as they dance a passionate piece set to Gaga’s “You & I” and Ella Burns is brilliant as a trouble-making cocaine fiend desperate for her next fix.
The second act, Hollywood, is at the opposite end to the contemporary dancing, costuming and music of Honky Tonk, and I admire both the technical precision and the lighting quick costume changes by the dancers.
Gone are the denim cut-offs and cowboy hats, instead replaced with tails, top hats and bow ties that immediately evoke a nostalgia for the musical greats of the early 20th century.
A homage to the dance icons of years past, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers and Gene Kelly, the entire company keep pace with Ralph’s choreography, in particular several tap styled numbers that are seemingly impossible feats of technical skill.
A big blockbuster styled number is a fitting finale to this incredible piece of theatre. Ralph has created an exciting performance using current pop music and iconic movie stars in a creative venture that is clever, witty and fun.
This is theatre that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and it is incredibly refreshing to see contemporary dance of this calibre performed with so much joy.
The cast are glorious, talented dancers and actors whom throw themselves with complete abandon into their roles in a thrilling display. While the male company could have been featured more throughout the performance, it really was the ladies show. From the opening song, the girls owned the stage and did so with such gusto that the men seemed to fade into the background in their presence.
Hollywood Honky Tonk is a wonderful tribute to the Golden Days of musical theatre, and will leave you wishing you hadn’t given up on those tap lessons when you were six.
Giving Productions & James Ostroburski presents
Hollywood Honky Tonk
Choreographer Michael Ralph
Venue: Gasworks Theatre, Melbourne
Dates: 12 – 15 June 2014
Times: Thu to Sat at 8pm, Sat also at 2pm and Sun at 6pm
Tickets: Full $32 Group (10+) $25
Visit: www.facebook.com/HollywoodHonkyTonkShow | www.givingproductions.com.au