Travels With JB

Travels With JB

Travel news and reviews

Watching Jazz Men at Melbourne’s Athenaeum Theatre it was hard to believe the performers had only been rehearsing for eight days.

Cast members of Jazz Men from left: – Scott Blanco, Erik Soriano, Davy Harris, Cameron Davey, Bec Chapman, Dean Schulz, Jesse Matthews, Benito Veneziano and Leigh Sleightholme.*

As the 12 dancers energetically showed their dancing skills they looked more like a group that had been together for months.

But then again the program was the brainchild of Melbourne choreographer Robert Sturrock, renowned for his work in such productions as Cats, Dynamite, Dancing Dynamite, A Chorus Line, Oklahoma and Stars.

The cast of Jazz Men.*

A gap in the program at the Athenaeum resulted in the theatre offering Sturrock the opportunity to try out the new work.

It was a decision the extremely enthusiastic audience and cast were obviously very grateful for as both groups clearly enjoyed the show!

The cast of 11 male dancers – Benito Veneziano, Leigh Sleightholme, Dean Schulz, Jesse Matthews, Scott Blanco, Cameron Davey, Nathan McLaughlin, Angus Eastwood, Daniel Lewis, Davy Harris and Erik Soriano, female dancer Mandy Savickas and MC and vocalist Bek Chapman danced and sung their way through a wide variety of music ranging from – Singing in the Rain – complete with a Gene Kelly inspired dance number to  AC/DC’s Thunderstruck, accompanied by an homage to Angus Young.

Dean Schulz performs Singing In the Rain.*

The show, which ran for just under two hours with a 20-minute interval, featured dance routines covering the 40s, rock, jazz and Latin.  Songs included On Broadway, Leave Your Hat On, Fever, All that Jazz, Hit the Road Jack, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Another One Bites the Dust,  Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Sing, Sing, Sing, Sway, Let Me Entertain You, Need You Tonight and It’s Raining Men.

While some songs were pre-recorded others were presented live by the clearly talented Chapman and a couple of the dancers.

A large selection of colourful costumes ranging from suits to glamorous Broadway style outfits, to `not much at all’ complemented the dance styles and music.

The cast of Jazz Men.*

The `barely there’ outfits, which allowed the performers to show their well-toned bodies, proved especially popular with many of the audience members! This enthusiastic response and the talented cast would seem to ensure the two shows already held at the Athenaeum are just the start of a successful run for this most energetic and entertaining show.

The next show is planned for Geelong in March with dates to be confirmed . Visit the Jazz Men Instagram page for more information.

Jenny Burns attended the January 11 performance of Jazz Men as a guest of the producers.

*Photo credit: Robert Cuzens

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