Tout de Sweet

The Century Ballroom’s gently sparkling new cabaret production is a come-to-life stage version of those movie musicals where everyone meets at the club to put on a show. Tout de Sweet opens with the saucy Lauchettes, chorus girls who act as emcees. Like the rest of the show, they give a sweeter interpretation of the hard-edged burlesque stereotype, more Ginger Rogers than Bob Fosse. Among the show’s highlights, Hallie Kuperman anchors a quartet of women in a belly-dance version of West Coast swing. La Twan Allen and Derrius Anderson provide a living tribute to the fabulous Nicholas Brothers in their tap duet, including the signature slides and leapfrog jumps that made the original pair so famous. Vocalist Deidre Pierson does a great job with a pair of World War II-era standards, “La Vie en Rose” and “Bei Mir Bist Du Schöen,” managing to sound like herself rather than Edith Piaf or the Andrews Sisters. Probably the most daring performer of the evening is Scott Davis. Mime is a punch line these days, but his skit about a runner determined to eliminate his competition by any means necessary is silly enough to avoid the usual jokes. Tout de Sweet concludes with a can-can, naturally. Then the tables are cleared for a brief class and open dancing. The difference between spectators and performers disappears, as the latter walk offstage to join the throng. Everyone finds a partner and starts to dance, just like in the movies. SANDRA KURTZ

Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. Starts: Jan. 10. Continues through Feb. 14, 2009

 
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