Ballroom with a Twist...a pop...and a snap!

Cape Playhouse plays host to a truly talented troupe
Tristan MacManus (left) and Anna Trebunskaya (right) make the stage sparkle in Ballroom with a Twist. Photo by Alexander Sklij.

The fourth show of the Cape Playhouse's 2013 took a unique turn with the opening of Ballroom with a Twist.  Not only does the show open with a twist, it sizzles, snaps and pops until the end.

The official touring show is produced by a California company and features personalities and finalists from three of the country's favorite non-scripted competition television shows: Dancing with the Stars, American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance.

The stars of the show are Anna Trebunskaya and Tristan MacManus, two of the professional ballroom dancers from ABC's very popular Dancing with the Stars.  Of the show's sixteen seasons, Trebunskaya has appeared in ten and MacManus has appeared in the most recent four. When they aren't showing off their amazing ballroom talents, the pair are the show's very personable hosts.  Trebunskaya is graceful and poised and MacManus is impish and adorable.

The dynamic dance duo are joined by several fellow dancers from their show, dancers who tour with Ballroom with a Twist and other dance shows and three extremely talented and versatile dancers from So You Think You Can Dance: Legacy, Jonathan Platero and Randi Lynn Strong.

The high energy dance numbers feature many different styles of dance--not just ballroom--hence the "twist". You'll see everything from Waltz to Samba, Jive to the Quickstep and Modern to B-Boy. All performances were masterfully choreographed by another Dancing with the Stars pro, Louis Van Amstel.

Van Amstel's steps are beautifully orchestrated--some dances are breathtaking, while others are romantic.  Some are spicy and others are just plain fun. All are impressive and had the audience cheering and applauding throughout.

The dances are punctuated with vocal performances from two American Idol finalists--Von Smith a top 17 finalist from Season 8 and Gina Glocksen, the 9th place finalist from Season 6.  They may not have won their individual seasons, but they sure can sing and should get credit for surviving as long as they did, back in the Simon Cowell days. 

Smith is a bit of a Michael Bublé knock-off, but Glocksen--known as the "rocker chic", aptly handled everything from heart-wrenching ballads to zippy standards.

But the true star of the show is dance and the amazing talents the dancers possess as individuals, pairs and groups. 

Lighting design by Michael White enhanced the mood of each dance with everything from psychedelic colors to stark silhouettes.

Cape Playhouse shows can at times be a bit staid, but Ballroom with a Twist will entertain people of all ages--especially fans of one or all of the three television shows.

Costumes by Randall Design brought the shimmy and spark of Dancing with the Stars to the live stage.  It will make you wish you owned stock in Rhinestones.

Although all the dancers were good, the three from So You Think You Can Dance were mesmerizing.  A modern dance with the trio performed to Gina Glocksen's cover of Sara Bareilles's haunting "Gravity" was breathtaking. And Legacy's solo B-Boying (breakdancing) left the audience speechless.

Interactive moments including a could-have-been-spicier Q&A with Tristan and Anna and a dance lesson with a pro (free with your paid ticket) made this unique song and dance show all the more fun.

Ballroom with a Twist is running July 22 through August 3 at the Cape Playhouse, 820 Route 6A in Dennis, 877-385-3911. Shows are Monday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., matinees are Wednesdays and the second Thursday at 2 p.m. and the first Saturday at 3:30p.m.


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