Review By Tatum Stafford
100 Years Of The History Of Dance As Told By One Man In 60 Minutes With An Energetic Group Finale
If the quirkily long title of this show isn’t enough to get you through the door, the talented Andrew Longo certainly is.
‘100 Years Of The History Of Dance’ is the brainchild of WAAPA grads Joseph Simons and Emma Canalese, and follows Jacob’s oral presentation at school about the topic he loves the most: dance. As the show opens with a humorous voiceover instructing us to turn off our phones and spit out our gum so we don’t disrupt the class, everyone strapped in for an hour of everything Simons and Canalese wanted us to know about the history of dance.
Andrew Longo plays Jacob, the show’s protagonist, and is captivating as soon as the show opens. Longo doesn’t leave the stage once, carries every line of meticulous dialogue with charismatic ease, and displays a wonderful range of dance knowledge as he pirouettes, Fosse-necks and chenaes into each choreographer’s style seamlessly. A fresh grad from Griffith University’s Musical Theatre Bachelor program, Longo’s acting is perfectly earnest, and enables the audience to become fully absorbed in each tale Jacob tells.
The script of the show is incredibly well-researched, biting and entertaining. Jumping from a range of choreographers, dance styles and historical events, the protagonist of Jacob is the perfect representative to guide us through the one hundred year-long timeline.
Simons and Canalese are clearly incredibly well-versed in dance and dance history, and manage to include references to choreographers that the audience recognise, as well as those who we might not be so familiar with. As a musical theatre fan, I was very satisfied with the connections made to ‘Cats’ choreographer Gillian Lynne, the legendary Bob Fosse and the king of ‘A Chorus Line’, Michael Bennett.
So if you’re after an entertaining night out at the Old Girls School, try and get your hands on a ticket to ‘100 Years Of The History Of Dance’. Spoiler alert – the “energetic group finale” is well worth the price of admission.
All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.