Tag Archive: tenile pritchard

Performers showcased a fuller Fosse flavor in "Sing, Sing, Sing," which closed the concert.

A small, sultry cast slunk onstage to some spectacular renditions of Bob Fosse’s work in “Take Off with Us,” a benefit directed and choreographed by Cirque’s Giulio Scatola and presented by RagTag Entertainment. The Ovation theater at Green Valley Ranch played host and, while the production elements were understated by Las Vegas standards, the show didn’t need them. The performers delivered tasteful and tantalizing sensuality, coupled in most cases with grand stage presence. All of this made the $15 ticket price a stellar value.

Leads Traci Kesisian and Savannah Smith were knockouts; their full, emotional voices bore the show along effortlessly. Scatola’s choreography also did them justice, as they both neatly sidestepped the old paradigm of singers who don’t dance. Kesisian and Smith held their own with the ensemble of dancers backing them, propelled by compelling command of the stage.

The rundown of “Take Off with Us” was short, sweet and sassy. Dancers Claudia Cervenka, Erin Marie Sullivan, Kady Kay, Rochelle Wolfe, Caitlin Cray Shea and Tenile Pritchard demonstrated great versatility, switching between the lovely, lilting “Take Off with Us” opener and the coy, snappy “Bye Bye Blackbird.” “Blackbird” especially was svelte and feminine and played well to the audience.

“Big Spender,” another predictably dance-y number, featured the entire cast and resisted any precious ambiance, opting for gritty authenticity instead. Beautiful girls cat-calling to guys across a bar is a familiar scene in Las Vegas, but the girls’ playfulness garnished the number with laughs.

They gotcha! Traci Kesisian, flanked by Claudia Cervenka (left) and Erin Marie Sullivan, made it clear that these performers aren't playin'.

Smith’s and Kesisian’s vocal solos well placed in the program. Smith began the show with “Take Off with Us” and, later, “All that Jazz,” seamlessly switching keys and showing off her delightful belt. Kesisian’s voice hearkened back to the edginess of Gwen Verdon, a point she underscored beautifully in the up-tempo “I Gotcha” and “Mein Herr.”

The due shone in “Class,” “Nowadays” and “Life is a Bowl of Cherries.” Their professionalism was clear, and their enjoyment bled into the audience throughout the show. Arles Estes bears mentioning as well, as his arrangements of “Take Off with Us” and “Cherries” were just the right degree of smooth and snazzy. Kesisian and Smith’s dance break in “Nowadays” was also excellent, rife with jazz hands and Charlestons.

Individuals in the ensemble, equally hard to forget, made their voices heard in “Cell Block Tango,” perhaps the most personality-filled number in the show. Each performer delivered a snide monologue about doing away with lying, cheating men, and the audience was roaring by the end of the act.

“Sing, Sing, Sing,” the traditional Fosse closer if there ever was one, wrapped up the concert. The performers were decked in fringe and glitter and their swishing costumes added an audible element to the Fosse-filled finale. Jazz hands, pigeon toes and distinctive, attenuated lines gave a final tip of the fedora to the show’s inspiration.

One final performance of “Take Off with Us” is scheduled for 8 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch. (Doors open at 7 p.m.) Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door, but arrive early, as the house fills fast. Proceeds benefit Golden Rainbow, an organization assisting those living with HIV and AIDS.

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Performers gathered in the name of creativity, business sense and giveaways for a late-night show organized by Creative Studios LV and Financial Groove on Feb. 23. “Financial Groove Presents” was held at the Loft Works space rented by Creative Studios and was a comfortable mix of live music, spoken word, indie short films and dance.

Creative Studios supports performing artists by providing rehearsal, administrative, marketing and fundraising resources, all in the name of creation and innovation. Financial Groove, a QuickBooks-approved organization, supplies artists with tax expertise to ensure that art and business operate as harmoniously as possible.

Both entities know how to put on a widely enjoyable show. Additionally, raffle prizes and donations were contributed by such organizations as PhotoFM.com , The Muffler Shop, Creative Studios LV, Pahrump Valley Winery, CMIT Solutions of The LakesPhotoGraphic Creations and Flowers of the Field. A grand prize for the evening was an Amazon Kindle e-reader and, of course, free food abounded.

Performers hailing from “Fantasy” Cirque du Soleil, “Le Reve” and the like joined freelancing musicians and dancers in a concert whose proceeds benefited Creative Studios. Dance wasn’t the mainstay of the evening, but two aerial acts, several vocal solos, a couple of monologues and live music filled the space with creative vibes.

Drea Lee, pictured left, choreographed a high-energy, funk-and-burlesque fusion number to Christinia Aguilera’s “Spotlight,” which was performed midway through the show. Clever choreography and personality-filled dancers in fringe made the piece an easy crowd-pleaser and some intricate funk kept things interesting. Footage of the number is available here.

Tenile Pritchard and an artists known as Swift performed a duet toward the end of the show and set the scene with candles, a pillow and conversational choreography. Drake’s “Little Bit” serenaded the couple through a twining piece about the complexity of relationships and vulnerability. Tight isolations made it evident that the choreography was backed up by two strong technicians and the energy helped the show end strongly.

Two short films by Lauren Thompson, titled “Restroom” and “Mail Room,” provided ample head-scratching material and Adam Kilbourn screened a humorous short about a very un-funny economic situation. All of this material, paired with an open and relaxed atmosphere, made “Financial Groove Presents” edgy and appealing. Ideally, there will be more events like this on the way.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Creative Studios or Financial Groove, keep your eyes peeled because more material should be coming soon. In the meantime, enjoy the photos below and check out both Creative Studios LV and Financial Groove on Facebook.

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