For those suffering the post-holiday January blahs, Evolution Dance has the cure for those winter time blues.
It’s called “Reel Memories in Song and Dance,” and this show delighted a Savannah Center crowd on Sunday. The final presentation will be today (Monday) at 4 p.m. in Savannah.
This salute to movie music had everything from Bing Crosby and Bob Hope to Elvis and Frankenstein. But the real highlight was a spectacular 21-minute tribute to “The Wizard of Oz,” choreographed by Helene Yelverton.
Nearly two-dozen dancers did justice to the classic film, and Yelverton said she worked nearly six months on the project.
“It’s hard to boil down a 3-hour movie into 21 minutes, but we did it,” said Yelverton, co-director of Evolution Dance. The costumes, music, dancing and acting turned this vintage slice from “The Wizard of Oz,” into a charming and moving theatrical experience.
“Everyone worked so hard,” said Diane Vargas, artistic director of Evolution Dance. “They were all ready for this performance.”
Leslie Rosenberg as Dorothy, kept everything moving with her exuberant energy and lilting stage presence.
Cathy Lucking as the Scarecrow, moved with athletic agility, including a couple of splits that were awe inspiring. She was a loosey-goosey bunch of straw.
Cute, petite Karen Bouffard roared like a scary beast until revealing her weaker side as the Cowardly Lion.
Rosie Theiss was a creaky, Tin Man who put some real heart into her metal moves.
Dellie Saxe as Glinda, glistened with an effervescent glow in a flowing pink gown and sparkling magic wand. She turned in a show stopping version of “Over the Rainbow.”
Others in the “Oz” tribute included Bonnie Stauffer as the Munchkin Mayor and Paige Fleming as the bad witch. And who could resist the Lollipop Kids: Wendy Stephens, Mary Ann Dailey and Kay Jobe.
It’s hard to pick out individual performances in a dance show that exemplified teamwork, unity and talent.
Yuri Sohn was elegant and captivating teaming with Virgil Reyes on a ballet-flavored “Unchained Melody.” The boys took over for a funky “Ghostbusters” number. It featured Paul Young, Chris Harrison, Peter Mila and Dave Saxe.
Saxe and Reyes played Bob Hope and Bing Crosby who acted as hosts throughout the program, introducing the numbers.
Michele Connors, wore a fire-engine red costume and offered a bitter and powerful contemporary dance style to “The Man That Got Away.”
Dave Saxe and Judy Jonas combined for a tender ballet on “If Ever I Would Leave You.”
The pace picked up when Dave Saxe and a host of inmates and guards romped around the stage in “Jailhouse Rock.” Saxe donned a greasy pompadour and thick sunglasses to discover his inner Elvis.
Paul Young stole the show as Frankenstein as he tapped along with a bevy of dancers during “Putting on the Ritz” and bellowed out some indiscernible lyrics.
Dellie Saxe was hot and flirtatious on a raucous version of “Cabaret.” Judy Jonas was joined by Cathy Lucking and a host of dancers on a scorching version of “Lady Marmalade.”
There was more fun on “The Godfather,” which featured Young, Chris Harrison, Kathy Chesley-Williams, Virgil Reyes, Yuri Sohn along with Tom Bradley and Peter Mila as a couple of mobsters.
Sue Schuler helped kickoff the finale with a stirring version of “That’s Entertainment.” It was a fitting finish to an uplifting, joyful dance tribute.
“It wasn’t easy,” Yelverton said after the show. “We put a lot of extra work in, but it was worth it.”
Tony Violanti covers arts and music for Villages-News.com. He was inducted into the Buffalo NY Music Hall of Fame as a music journalist.