Just as the city breathed a collective sigh of relief that the sun had begun to thaw the frosty hellscape in which we've been living for too many weeks, the Bad Boys of Dance geared up for their final performances of their Philadelphia tour Saturday.
Hundreds packed into Annenberg's Zellerbach Theatre to watch the 2 p.m. show — there's one more tonight, at 8 p.m., snag those last-minute tickets while you can — which promised to showcase the dancers' talents set to a soundtrack of contemporary pop music.
Founder and creator Rasta Thomas appeared as the lights dimmed to offer an introduction, saying that the show would "speak for itself." It did, and it said one thing loudest of all: This is really damn entertaining.
Exploding onto the stage to Kanye West's "Stronger," the boys, in their colorful polo shirts and jeans — which must have a great amount of stretch; I was expecting their enormous dancer quads to burst through the fabric — combined magnificent skill, electrifying movement and truckloads of attitude.
When the lone female in the production (Thomas' wife Adrienne Canterna, who he said in his introduction he met when they were 8 and 9 years old in dance class, aww...) took the stage a few times on her own, her movements crackled with aptitude and energy — her solo performances gave me goosebumps.
During the second act, the show really ramped up the acrobatics and vigor. The boys, who each had some solo dance time during songs like George Michael's "Faith," and The Beatles' "Come Together," are certainly gifted dancers, but what was most apparent was the fun they were having on stage. As they twirled, flipped and peeled their shirts off — oh boys, you really are bad — the crowd couldn't help but raise to its feet, clap along with the music, and shout out some "Whoo-hoo"s. It was at moments campy, silly and even Magic Mike-ish (cue the ladies in the audience fanning themselves with their programs), but their enthusiasm was contagious and their gymnastic feats were breathtaking.
Whether you are a fan of dance performances, it's hard not to get caught up in the Bad Boys' presentation. The literally colorful stage, the bumping beats and the dancers' panache were a perfect companion to the sunny afternoon. It seemed impossible that anyone would leave the theatre in a sour mood.
Get tickets here.