The sweat was running, the clothes flew off and they kept on dancing. Dancing to Old Blue Eyes no less. With one of the best bands you will ever hear. Soloists on the trumpet, trombone and sax that take your breath away. I'm talking about COME FLY AWAY at the Arsht Center, an eighty-minute dance/theatre piece by Twyla Tharp. If you've seen the Miami City Ballet dance Tharp you know to expect bodies to leap, fly and hurl around the stage. And that they did.
These are strong, lithe, energy filled human dance machines. Men who can raise their legs as high as the women. Women who can hurl men across the floor.
And all this to Frank Sinatra standards, his voice extrapolated from his recordings, then accompanied by the marvelous band. The sound people on this tour must be geniuses to make the voice so clear above the live band, as if he were onstage singing.
But back to the dancing. Eight principle dancers and six ensemble dancers. Each principle dancer stood out in different pieces. Mallauri Esquibel and Ron Todorowski play the innocents. They are clumsy in their flirtatious movements as only skilled dancers can be. He's agile and loose; she's leggy and aggressive.
Meredith Miles, in a beautifully designed red dance dress is partnered with Stephen Hanna, tall, strong and handsome in a form fitting white shirt for "I've Got A Crush on You", a sexy and brash flirtation.
Amy Ruggiero as the soubrette and tiny Matthew Stockwell Dibble as the “loser” are featured in “Here’s to the Losers”.
I particularly enjoyed Ashley Blair Fitzgerald and Anthony Burrell, she with fiery red hair and sharp, defined movement, and he for his core strength and lithe movements.
There is always so much going on and the dancers move so quickly it was impossible for me to take notes. But if you like Sinatra, strong, well-trained dancers and old standards, then this is the show for you.
Come Fly Away is running at the Ziff Opera House at the Adrienne Arsht Center through Sunday evening March 25, 2012. For tickets go to ArshtCenter.org or call the Box Office (305) 949-6722.
For a brief preview and video with Nancy Sinatra, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xU0R-pQae60