Jazz Men


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Sensual, highly energetic and colourful, Jazz Men appears intent on giving Magic Mike a run for its money. I speak of 11 locally based dancers – some finely chiseled – strutting their stuff in front of a most appreciative audience who don’t hold back. The showmen change their costumes – which range from the elegant to the audacious (from tails to tinsel and exposed skin) – frequently.

Photos by Robert Cuzens

The music incorporates jazz, Latin, rock and even a tribute to the ‘40s. From On Broadway to Leave Your Hat On, Despacito to Smooth, Another One Bites the Dust to Thunderstruck and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy to In the Mood. The rhythms are often pulsating, while the dancing is frequently frenzied and always finely choreographed by Robert Sturrock. In fact, choreographic excellence is a feature of the show. The second act is particularly homoerotic.

Joining the men is female singer Bek Chapman and a highly agile female lead dancer, Mandy Savickas. Jazz Men sets out to provoke and cajole and that it does – the boisterous crowd taking every opportunity to show its enthusiasm for the on-stage athleticism. All the while, the talented dancers don’t miss a beat (boy, can they move!), dressing up and partially disrobing as the mood dictates. In Act II, the emcee and vocalist Chapman has a cheeky chat with many of them.

What I could have done without though is her asking whether we were ready to be entertained, if we were enjoying the show and whether we had a great night. At one point, early on, the dancers too use their hands to encourage us to give them adulation. None of this self-serving nonsense is necessary. Just get on with the show, which keeps on giving anyway and the rest will take care of itself.

It felt like I was at a raucous hens’ night, where everyone was having a great time. So, if you are out to let your hair down, Jazz Men may be just the ticket for you. It sure put smiles on plenty of faces when I saw it.

Alex First

Alex First

Alex First believes all people have a story to tell, if only a good playwright can prize it out of them. Alex has a natural curiosity about the world and believes a strong narrative, or narrative with music, can open the door to subjects about which he knows little. Like his parents before him, theatre is his passion – a passion with emotional resonance, one that moves and excites him. He brings decades’ experience as an arts’ connoisseur to his role as a critic.
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