HE’S light on his feet, can hold a tune and has the ability to make his audience love him.
No, I don’t mean Bruce Forsyth – I’m talking about Anton du Beke who is quickstepping his way to theatres across the country – and for me it is the one show this year I didn’t want to miss.
Joined by Strictly Come Dancing resident crooner Lance Ellington and The Manchester Concert Orchestra conducted by Richard Balcombe, it is the uber-talented Summer Strallen who almost steals the show.
Strallen is what is known in the business as a ‘triple threat’ which means she can dance, sing and act – and boy how well does she do all three? Remarkably well. Along with a gifted ensemble, her take on Kander & Ebb’s All That Jazz from the musical Chicago was simply thrilling.
But let’s not forget it is du Beke who is the star of the show – effortlessly gliding across the stage as if he is floating on air.
It’s the king of ballroom’s first tour without Erin Boag, his professional partner of more than 18 years as the queen of ballroom is expecting her first child in the spring.
The show is a marvellous mix of song and dance to some of the world’s best-loved musical theatre standards including Mein Herr (Cabaret) Steam Heat (The Pajama Game), Music of the Night (The Phantom of the Opera) and If My Friends Could See Me Now (Sweet Charity).
One of the highlights of the evening – and there are many including the Q&A section which is simply hilarious – is du Beke and Strallen’s replication of Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse’s Dancing in the Dark from the musical, The Band Wagon.
Du Beke is quick-witted, dashing and for me one of the finest ballroom dancers to have graced the British stage and screen.
Ballroom to Broadway will perform at Birmingham Symphony Hall (0121 345 0603) on Saturday, February 8 at 7.30pm and Sunday, March 9 at 3pm; Nottingham Royal Concert Hall (0115 989 5555) on Sunday, February 9 at 3pm; Leicester de Montfort Hall (0116 233 3111) on Friday, February 21 at 7.30pm and Derby Assembly Rooms (01332 255800) on Friday, March 14 at 7.30pm.
For further information visit www.raymondgubbay.co.uk/antondubeke or call the national ticket hotline on 0844 847 2319