Rasta Thomas' Bad Boys of Dance charms with a charismatic cast

April 15, 2010

Critical Mass: City Paper's Arts & Entertainment Blog

Emily Currier

Friday, April 16, 2010

BAD BOYS (AND A GIRL) >> Rasta Thomas’ Bad Boys of Dance not only wows the audience with mind- and body-bending dance routines, but also charms them with a charismatic cast of six male dancers. Each has a long list of credentials, ranging from television appearances to Broadway performances, and, more importantly, incredible passion and infectious enthusiasm. Throughout the evening, every dancer was given at least one solo to highlight personality and individual talents — tap, break-dancing, six-pack abs.

While the appeal of athletic and passionate men for this young, heterosexual female is fairly obvious, the performance still held ample draw for the evening’s predominantly older crowd. When encouraged by the dancers, the audience would clap along to the routines and laugh at the cheeky humor. As their goofy moniker promises, the performance was a decidedly macho event, but it never went overboard.

That is, except during sequences featuring the lone female dancer, Adrienne Canterna-Thomas. The apparently jointless Canterna-Thomas held her own athletically but failed to make a connection with the audience. Even worse, and through no fault of her own, she often became simply a prop in brutish sequences of male machismo. The rest of the performance’s humor relied on the effortless appeal of the male dancers, making these more overt comedic attempts unnecessary.

Canterna-Thomas did have a chance to shine opposite her real-life husband, Rasta Thomas, in the first act. Dubbed “Beautiful Days,” the act told the story of a tumultuous relationship and featured more literal choreography. The couple’s chemistry and the dancers’ emotive abilities made the act fly by. The second act, called “Rock You,” was a collage of ‘80s pop music and various dance styles. Endowed with endless stamina, the dancers performed fluid mixtures of ballet, hip-hop and jaw-dropping gymnastics.

The evening closed with a well-deserved standing ovation, encouraging the dancers to perform two encores. They ended with a tongue-in-cheek strip tease to “I’m Too Sexy,” which, let’s be honest, is what we were waiting for all night.