Sunday, October 01, 2006

So You Think You Can Dance Live Tour – Buffalo Shea Theater

Sep 30 2006

I’m here to tell you about the SYTYCD show from Buffalo NY, on yet another rainy night on their tour. I travelled all the way from another country to see the show (okay, so it’s only an 1.5 hour drive from Toronto but I still had to bring my passport) and that’s how much my friends and I LOVE this show. I will confess, I wasn’t that into the first season of SYTYCD. I liked the premise, I loved the dancing, but I sort of drifted off. I was initially going to write this season off too but I tuned into the top 20 and realised this year had an AMAZING cast of contestants who were ALL excellent (last year I can only remember Nick, this year, pretty much the whole top 10 cast plus a few others were my faves). There seemed to be a better chemistry with the entire group this year, and it shines through during the live show, as you can tell they are all just having a blast and getting along famously. (I do wonder if there IS any drama backstage but if there is, it sure doesn’t show on stage… and what’s the rumours with Natalie and Dimitri? Are they off or on? More on that later).

So since the previous correspondents on Dan's blog have done an excellent job already describing the show, I’ll just add in my few thoughts and things I noticed while grinning in a cheeseball smile during the entire show.

The Technologic number that opens the show really just sets the pace of the entire show and helps erase any misgivings that perhaps the show might have lost its lustre between the finale and the tour. I was trying to be objective but Travis really does grab my attention as he just seems to hit the beat just a little better than the others and is simply the best technical dancer (without being robotic), but still, everyone shines and is enjoyable to watch, including Dimitri, who sometimes seems to be trying to catch up to Brian Friedman’s choreography, but is entertaining nonetheless!

Each dancer has their solos spread throughout the show, and they are better than I remembered them on the show, and still great to watch. Allison, Travis, Ryan and Natalie’s were actually probably the best but during Benji’s who is always dependably good, my friend who was WooHooing the entire time, started to raise her pitch to a full out WAAAHHH as Benji ended his dance by stripping off his shirt into Dimitri territory, and then doing a quick muscle pose before running off the stage.

There were a few too many video montages (mostly taken directly from the show) but, sigh… I GUESS the dancers need some time to change, drink some water and take a breather between numbers… ALRIGHT… I’ll give them the few seconds to breathe. Generally though, the whole show flowed very well, with dance upon dance upon dance continuing throughout the night. I was just exhausted FOR THEM but you would never tell from the dancers faces since they seemed to be enjoying every minute of it.

Almost everyone confidently MC’ed, especially Benji who always seemed to be either on stage hosting, or dancing. No-longer Jailbait Ivan still seemed a little nervous talking, but that just added to his adorableness. Travis seemed to have lost his lispy thing (which I kinda liked actually) but seemed much more confident (without losing his aw-shucksness personality). Heidi seems to carry the family gene of hosting duties and was probably the best girl MC, but it was during Dimitri’s Top 20 introduction where it seems now in every city, somebody will yell out something, in Buffalo’s case, a girl in the back professing her love for Dimitri, still seemed to trip up Dimitri who tried to carry on his speech as normal but you could tell he was seriously trying to hold back joining the rest of the audience in laughter.

Sexyback is by far my favorite number from the show, now with the entire top 10 cast, and could have gone on forever if you were to ask me. Ivan seems to shine the most of the new dancers to the number, and Travis does really just steals the number.

In the second half of the show, Travis and Heidi performs their amazing Mia Michaels choreographed number to Calling You. Heidi seems to miss holding onto Travis’ leg while getting pulled out from underneath the bench, and their seemed to be a slight scramble to catch up, but it still got the first and largest of standing ovations.

Natalie and Dimitri didn’t kiss or makeout but had a some eye contact moments so if there are rumours of them being off, I’m not sure it’s true. Though Dimitri almost dropped Natalie on her head but she laughed it off apparently but I missed that while watching other dancers.

Jaymz only filled in once during the Disco medley (AMAZING) and Jessica showed up a bunch of times throughout the show during the group dances but I’m not sure if she was actually taking over anybody because usually she filled in for someone that would dance next, so it felt more like just giving that girl time to do a costume change.

Oh, because the good news? Donyelle must be better because she was in every group medley (unless she was dancing next) and didn’t seem to disappear as much as previous correspondents had noted during their shows. She was back in full form and back to the Donyelle we loved when she was partnered up with Benji!

I’d list all the best routines but basically any group routine was just crazy fun to watch, including the hip-hop krumping to Poison that leads into the Tranji Nerds routine. I actually liked the Ramalama number even more on stage (I might be the lone person that prefers it without the makeup as it allows us to see each of the dancers faces really trying to get into character and seeing who shines through (oh yeah, Allison and Natalie really do need to be on Broadway). Again, my problem with the group routines was just not knowing where and who to watch since everyone was just so good. The finale to Hairspray’s You Can’t Stop the Beat (one of the best songs in musical theatre history in a mediocre musical) was just sad only because we knew it was the final number and that it would be over.

My main criticism, at 2.5 hours, the show is STILL TOO SHORT!!! I WANT MORE!!! It was simply too good to stop. Thank goodness I’ll still have another chance to see it in Toronto in a month (and I have a feeling half the audience from Buffalo will be there too since more than half the license plates around the streets and parking lots of the theatre were from Ontario)! Didn't stick around to catch the dancers at the stage door since we still had to drive back and get through the borders but I still have a month to stake out the doors of the Hummingbird Centre in Toronto so I can fully stalk out Benji, Ivan, Natalie, Donyelle, Dimitri, Heidi, Travis, Ryan and Allison and Martha in a months time!

I'll hopefully have photos and maybe Video clips over the next few days but if not, check Dan''s duckyxdale blog for photos and links.

1 comment:

highbrow said...

WHERE ARE THE PHOTOS?! I KNOW YOU HAAAAAAAAVE THEM! (and don't blame me for not having them either. don't even try it!)

i missed the ramalama routine cuz i was trying to record it. i missed a lot of the show b/c of that! thank goodness we're goin' again at the end of the month....HA!