Ok, first things first. Real tango - that is, two people lost in an embrace, communing only with the music and each other - is something tender and profound and quietly ecstatic. Theatrical tango, like Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace's 'Midnight Tango', is a completely different beast, all about swarthy passion and lots of leg.
Tango in this format will never be authentic, but it can be entertaining, and this show confidently does the job. 'Midnight Tango' is nowhere near as clichéd as you might fear - no brothels, no roses between the teeth.
It's essentially an extended 'Strictly Come Dancing' routine, and if you're a fan of the TV show, you'll love this. Set in a generic Buenos Aires bar, the plot - such as it is - involves Simone and Cacace's budding romance being interrupted by the local lothario. But blighted by a complete lack of dramatic tension, there is no doubt about how things will turn out. The flimsy narrative is saved only by a sweetly comic subplot involving the middle-aged couple who own the bar.
The two stars (and director Karen Bruce) have choreographed some well-paced, slick sequences and acrobatic lifts and lunges, backed by an able cast of dancers and a live band on stage. But there is nothing approaching genuine passion here. Instead of our leading couple being lost in each other's eyes, you feel as if they're thinking about how good they'd look on camera right now. Nobody is in love with anyone here, except themselves.
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