Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Dance Review: Broadway Underground Knows How To Get Down

Broadway Underground Cast Broadway Underground brings down the house on Monday night at BB Kings in Times Square. This show is full of non-stop raw talent, amazing live music, and lots of complimentary comedy that keeps the show rolling with laughter and fun.

Produced by Jared Grimes and Cheryl Cutlip, the performance displays the work of a fresh scoop of young, talented performers in the industry performing innovative works of their own or by other talented artists.  What makes Broadway Underground such a stand-out production is that they really get to the heart of entertainment (rather than just skimming the surface-like most shows of this kind).  Hell, they even have their own band keeping the beat throughout the show and hypnotizing you with a theme song that you leave the theater singing at least for the next two hours.

Only the FIERCE Dancers Apply!  Join iDANZ Today! The show opens with a hot hip-hop and tap fusion choreographed by Jared Grimes. This high-energy piece set to the deconstructed car sounds of Wade Robson’s I Question Mark is full of tight technique, syncopated rhythms, and an unforgettable tap solo.  But this is just one of Grimes’ three pieces for the evening.  In Ladies Throwdown, performed by the wonderfully versatile dancers of Tadah, these women really go hard in this sick tap number that displays their precision in sound, timing, and technical prowess. Grimes and Tadah are definitely a talent to watch out for.

Next up we meet Jay Stanton in his performance of Ray Mercer’s The Music In My Head.  Given the size of the stage and length of Stanton’s legs, I must admit that I was a little nervous about the ambition of the piece at first.  However, Stanton moves with a liquid musicality, seamlessly balancing Mercer’s contemporary and funk styles.

Juson Williams and company grace the stage in both the first and second half of the evening singing their soulfully witty rendition of classics For the Love of You and Lonely Avenue.  Expect the unexpected with Williams.  The level of his artistry allows him to take risks and use improvisation in a way that leaves you thinking one thought…WORK!

Speaking of musical artistry, William Johnson and the Drumatics blow up the stage at the end of the first half with a set of rhythms that make you want to get on your feet. This unbelievable all-male band dominates the trumpets, saxophone, djembe drums, and even paint buckets. That’s right William Johnson was drumming on paint buckets. Now that’s talent!

Now, my favorite and closing act of the evening is the BU Session, an open stage portion of the evening where artists in the audience are welcomed onstage to freestyle whatever talent they wish to share. What is most inspirational about this moment is seeing the diversity of races, generations, gender, and talent showcased.  There are even kids up there holdin’ it down right next to their teachers and mentors.  The session ends with two lengthy yet mind-blowing tap solos by Jared Grimes and Dewitt.  This pair, who also are the hosts of the show, delightfully serve as comic relief throughout the evening, and, putting all jokes aside, successfully leave the audience with a lasting impression of what "Broadway Underground" is really all about.

I’m not sure about when we will see this group again, but what I do know is that they will have a sold out house leaving you fully satisfied, and, I will make sure that I’m there again!  Broadway Underground: revolutionizing the definition of entertainment in New York City.  Go see them!

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Official Dance Review by Simone Sobers
Performance:  Broadway Underground
Choreography:  Jared Grimes, Ray Mercer, Juson Williams,Tadah, William Johnson and the Drumatics, Dewitt, BU Band, Adam Shenk, Reggie
Venue:  B. B. Kings
Show Date:  Monday, July 5, 2010

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