Derek Hough performed with his wife Hayley Hough in "Symphony of Dance" on Friday at The Palace in Albany.
Derek Hough is Mr. Entertainment. He’s an actor, singer, musician and, of course, a dancer extraordinaire who is best-known as a six-time “Dancing With the Stars” champion.
Aside from his giant talent, his secret sauce is his charm. And he heaped it onto Palace Theatre Albany audiences on Friday night and they lapped it up with screams and swoons that couldn’t be contained. And he and his cast of seven dancers, including his wife Hayley Hough, responded by throwing down some feisty and gorgeous dancing in his newest tour “Symphony of Dance.”
As expected, a “Dancing With the Stars” spinoff is all sequins and smiles adorning quick dance segments that meld ballroom and gymnastics peppered with some luscious lyrical dance. And each in the cast, including a trio of musicians, were expert – navigating the pumped up rhythms and steps like a Swiss watch.
Hough was the center of it all who appeared in nearly every number, skipping into the spotlight, cocking his hips, twirling his frame and at one point, ripping off his t-shirt and throwing it to a delighted crowd.
He also brought up six members of the audience onto the stage where he lined them up – back-to-back – and then sprang over them en masse in a split, like an Evel Knievel of dance. It was impressive.
Hough is not just a show-off. He also spoke of those that came before him and inspired him – with a tribute to Tina Turner’s rock ‘n’ roll with a raucous, hair-swinging romp to “Proud Mary” and to Gene Kelly with his own silly rendering of the brilliant “Good Morning” from “Singin’ in the Rain.”
He also spoke sweetly and sincerely about the love for his wife and the death of “Dancing with the Stars” beloved judge Len Goodman. And that’s where a devotion to Hough’s talents expands to one that sees and honors his humanity.
But that was a small part of it. Mainly, the show was a dizzying array of dances. I especially liked the Latin dances, the rhumba and jives, as well as the Houghs’ stern command of the tango.
As the show was loud – both musically and in the seats – the occasional beautiful lyrical duets were welcome as they lowered the volume.
I was also amazed at the seemly endless changes of colorful costumes – all gorgeous with many of them flirtatiously revealing. The wardrobe staff must be the busiest in all of show business.
The flash and fun all dovetailed with “Symphony of Dance,” an energy-charged showcase that will surely expand Hough’s already large and loyal fans base.