Review: DANCING WITH THE STARS: LIVE! 2023 at Proctors Theatre

The theater was packed full of fans, as the TV series the tour is based on has been gracing America since June of 2005.

By: Jan. 17, 2023
Review: DANCING WITH THE STARS: LIVE! 2023 at Proctors Theatre
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DANCING WITH THE STARS: LIVE! 2023 recently passed through Schenectady, New York, at Proctors Theatre. The theater was packed full of fans, as the TV series the tour is based on has been gracing America since June of 2005. While I settled into my seat for the evening, I was incredibly excited for the events to come, since I have been a longtime fan of the show myself.

The first impression of walking into the theater, being met immediately with the set design, was wondering how they are going to utilize so many cases of stairs, seeing that it cut well into their performance space on the stage? Luckily, they made use of the set at every available opportunity, and manipulated the creative structure to their advantage.

The show ran for an hour and a half, broken into two acts, including a fifteen-minute intermission. Off the bat, the performances were stellar and packed with a punch. The cast was comprised of Dancing With the Stars Pros: Britt Stewart, Alan Bersten, EMMA SLATER, GLEB SAVCHENKO, Brandon Armstrong, and Sasha Farber. They were also joined by DWTS Troupe Member Alexis Warr, and former So You Think You Can Dance contestant Jessica "JJ" Rabone, who stepped in for DWTS Troupe Member Kateryna Klishyna, after she met with a sprained ankle while on tour. The tour is being co-hosted by EMMA SLATER, and Dancing With the Stars Season 31 runner-up, Gabby Windey, who recently starred on The Bachlorette. The performance and production quality was exquisite. Seamless transitions between the dance numbers left the audience engaged and on the edge of their seat in anticipation of what was next to come. The costumes were dazzlingly embellished, glamorous and impeccable for every number, with costume changes for the majority of dances. Many of the performers had complete costume quick changes in under a minute. It was an incredible opportunity to sit back and watch these wildly talented performers dominate the stage in their areas of expertise.

Review: DANCING WITH THE STARS: LIVE! 2023 at Proctors Theatre
Britt Stewart (

Britt Stewart is an unbelievably diverse performer, switching between a seductive energy and knowing when to evoke thought-provoking emotion from the viewers. GLEB SAVCHENKO is suave, and exudes confidence throughout his performance. Alan Bersten and Sasha Farber did exceptionally well and moved across the stage with high energy and heaps of humor. Brandon Armstrong, who hadn't before wowed me on the TV show with his work, moved me to tears at this live show with his contemporary group performance to the song "Lift Me Up" by Rihanna with Britt Stewart, EMMA SLATER, and Alexis Warr. EMMA SLATER has also previously not been the most impressive pro dancer to me on the show, but she quickly changed my take by commanding the audience throughout the evening with witty remarks and comical moments between her and co-host Gabby Windey, and consistently making every number individual to her movement and interpretation. Review: DANCING WITH THE STARS: LIVE! 2023 at Proctors Theatre

The standout performer for the evening was easily Alexis Warr, who was featured in a vast number of dances. She has been stellar to watch on the show in the past, but she truly left me speechless every time she appeared on the stage. She swiftly and precisely expresses her immaculate foundation of technique, faultlessly elongating each limb. I hope to see her utilized more in the future, as she was breathtaking to watch.

While the evening produced many exceptional moments, there was a pitfall. There were no programs distributed to the audience, and they were not available digitally or through the theater. It was only upon leaving and speaking to a staff member of Proctors that I discovered the programs were to be purchased for twenty dollars at a merchandise stand. This had not been advertised prior to the performance and, to anyone as foolish as me who had failed to bring in a wallet, they were left without proper knowledge of the people who made this show happen. I searched for hours online to find any inkling of information on the production team and crew, but was left with nothing. I give massive props to the set, lighting, and costume designers for their superb creativity, because they made the show as grandiose and magnificent as imaginable.

I also want to point out how incredibly impressed I am with JJ Rabone's ability to swing in last minute for Kateryna Klishyna. While JJ was obviously not as polished in her overall performance as the other cast members, she did not miss a beat and that is commendable for it takes a certain expertise to be able to step up to this bar that has been set and keep up at every moment.

Overall, the evening was a night filled with laughs, jaw-drops, and amazement. If you have a chance to catch the DANCING WITH THE STARS: LIVE! 2023 in your area, I urge you to see these unbelievable performances in person.


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