Dancing With the Stars: Live in Las Vegas continues to burn up the stage at the Tropicana
By Kiko Miyasato
Photography by Christopher DeVargas
Hair and makeup by Christiné Copeland
Styling by Todd Hanshaw
Lacey Schwimmer’s color and cut by Jeff Knaggs
In 2005, ABC television aired the first season of Dancing With the Stars, a ballroom dancing competition that paired professional dancers with celebrities as they vied for the coveted mirror ball trophy. Fourteen seasons later, it is one of TV’s highest-rated prime-time shows and can be credited with not only reinvigorating celebrities’ careers, but also making ballroom dancing cool again. It’s given gossip mags plenty of speculative celebrity relationship fodder and is responsible for turning everyone from pro athletes, singers and models to teen idols and actors into Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. But the greatest thing about Dancing With the Stars is that the show is just plain fun to watch.
The show’s momentum has not slowed seven years later; in fact, its popularity has only grown in stature, as evidenced by the packed Las Vegas theater that is the first to stage a live version of the show with past Dancing With the Stars pro dancers and celebrity contestants. Due to overwhelming success, Dancing With the Stars: Live in Las Vegas at the Tropicana recently received an extension on its original 12-week run, with the show now playing through August, and there is even talk of a fall run with a new cast of celebrities and pro dancers.
The stage show premiered on April 13 and has been the talk of the town ever since; its stars are new Las Vegas royalty. The format of the stage version contains no judges, but fans of the TV show will be delighted that the 80-minute production is jam-packed with fabulous music and awesome ballroom dance routines. Along with the Las Vegas professional dance troupe are professional dancers and celebrities from past TV seasons, including Joey Fatone, Kyle Massey, Sabrina Bryan, Tia Carrere, Dmitry Chaplin and Lacey Schwimmer, with guest stars stopping by for a few performances, most recently Kym Johnson and Tristan MacManus. Playing host of the show (and shakin’ his booty in a few numbers, too) is season 13 darling Carson Kressley, whose “Vogue” routine will have you cheering in the aisles.
A musical score that includes hits from the Bee Gees, Elvis Presley, Little Richard and Madonna, and popular tunes like “Dream a Little Dream,” “Sing, Sing, Sing” and “Moves Like Jagger,” is the perfect backdrop for the show’s dance routines: foxtrot, waltz, paso doble, cha-cha-cha, rumba and tango.
Chaplin’s chest-baring, tight-jeaned rumba heats up the star-filled sky background, and Carrere’s waltz is breathtaking as she glides around in a stunning blue ball gown. Fatone’s jive certainly jumps and wails, and Schwimmer’s tango is precision mixed with straight-up sexiness. With more than a dozen routines, some side-splitting comedy between numbers (courtesy of Kressley) and on-point dance moves, Dancing With the Stars: Live in Las Vegas is a triumphant hit that continues to dominate entertainment on the Strip.