Thursday, 17 February 2011

Anton and Erin Puttin' on the Ritz: best thing ever?

I think that title gives you an idea of where this post is going..! But then, to be honest, it's got Anton in it. I think that's a bit of a mega give away straight off the bat really.

So I've seen Puttin' on the Ritz twice now - a Saturday night in Dublin and a Sunday matinee at the Sage in Gateshead. Little author's note first: should you ever get the chance to visit either of these places, do. Dublin is an amazing city. Amazing. Grown up, laid back, fun with some cracking bars, restaurants and shops. I loved it and fully intend to go back as soon as I have an excuse to. It's even better if you're a politics geek and visit during an (STV) election campaign! And the Sage is a fabulous venue. Very funky and modern with great acoustics in the actual hall. Again, I fully intend to go back. But I digress.

Puttin' on the Ritz is a completely wonderful show. Completely and utterly wonderful. If you've seen Anton and Erin's first two tours (yes, I have, obviously) you will love it. For my money, it's by far the best of three for a couple of reasons. Honestly, the biggest of these reasons is probably the inclusion of the genius Lance Ellington (of whom more soon) on vocals. He is just amazing and if his voice doesn't blow you away then, frankly, you need to have a long hard look at your life! I also think it's a better show than the previous two as it's more brazenly about entertainment rather than just dancing. There is more Anton and Erin banter, or perhaps more accurately more Anton banter whilst Erin tries to get a word in edgeways (which is fine by me - she gets the gorgeous dresses so it's only fair Anton gets something!), and more - and better quality - old school variety song and dance numbers.

This is the point at which I suppose you expect me to pick a favourite number. Well I can't. There are too many. And I'm not going to do a number by number rundown either, because as I've said re: Strictly review writing I find those immensely tedious. What I will do is a bit of a highlight real.

I literally can't pick a favourite dance number. It's impossible. There are a series of ridiculously fast and perfectly pulled off quicksteps all of which I adored. There's also a brilliant charleston and a fabulous ballroom tango. Those are my favourites, but I have described about 70% of the show there to be fair. You can't make me choose between them. It'd be like Sophie's Choice! (Author's note: who are you calling over dramatic?!) I feel like this paragraph should be much longer, but there's not much more to say other than the dancing is universally superb. It just is. For the Dublin show we were front row, eye-to-stage, and I think I spotted one mistake all night. Which is pretty damn incredible when you think about it. It's Anton and Erin dancing self-choreographed ballroom. What more do you need to know?

Both Anton and Erin sing this year. Now when it comes to singing I'm a picky bitch having had lessons and taken exams for the best part of eight years. That said, they both have a good stab at it although Anton is a lot better than Erin - he's done this before (last tour and, of course, the epic Me and My Shadow with Brucie a couple of Strictlys ago), she hasn't and you can tell. That's not to say she's bad, by the way. She isn't. I love her number - Me and My Baby from Chicago - it's great fun and super-high energy.

Anton has two songs this year, one of which is a duet with Lance (which is exceptionally brave, there's no way in hell you'd see me duetting with someone that good!) and one on his own - All I Need is the Girl. The solo one is the best. I'm not sure if you're aware of the lyrics of this song? It features much talk of 'my tweed suit and my striped tie.' Spot the costume opportunity. I can't honestly claim to have ever been sexually attracted to a man in a three piece tweed suit, until now. Seriously. Tweed? It's not right - it should not be possible to look that hot in tweed. It's only right that the tailor of said suit gets a credit in the programme! I'm just going to bask in the memory for a while, excuse me.


Mm. Right. Sorry about that. What can I say? It's a fucking amazing suit.

I could go on about how great this show is for a very *very* long time. It really is superb. I don't know if there are still tickets available for any of the remaining dates - there shouldn't be, frankly - but if there are you must go. You will not regret it.

So, to answer my own question, is Anton and Erin Puttin' on the Ritz the best thing ever? Honestly? Right now I'm struggling to think of anything better. Go. And. See. It.

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