Tuesday, April 27, 2010 | 6:57 p.m.
Here's a prediction for May in Las Vegas: Lewis Carroll's "The Jabberwocky" will be read aloud on a Strip stage.
Sound crazy? Can't imagine Donny and Marie, Frank Caliendo or the cast of Peepshow discussing slithy toves and vorpal swords under the spotlight? They won't be, but award-winning hip-hop dance crew JabbaWockeeZ is prepping for a 20-day run at MGM Grand's Hollywood Theater. The concept behind the show is muses. It only makes sense the poem that inspired their name would get some on-stage love.
The JabbaWockeeZ' 90-minute show, which debuts May 7, is called MÜS.I.C and pronounced "muse-I-see." As Las Vegas native and crew-member Chris Gatdula explained, it's all about inspiration. "Everyone has their muse. We're trying to show people what our muse is," he said, though he couldn't nail his own down to too firm a point. "It's music; it's dance; it's everything in the arts."
MÜS.I.C will showcase the JabbaWockeeZ inspirations as well as the inspirational dance skills that won them top prize on MTV's America's Best Dance Crew in 2008 and a straight shot to hip-hop dance stardom. Since taking the title, the SoCal-based dancers have toured with the New Kids on the Block, been featured in a Gatorade commercial and performed on just about every TV show that could incorporate the mask- and glove-wearing troupe without having to create a major plot twist.
Now, the boys are preparing to set up shop on the Strip where they'll put on a full-length show dedicated solely to demonstrating their considerable skills. "I'm assuming that this is the first time anyone in our community — a dance crew or something like that — would be able to put together a show like this. The platform that we're doing it at is one of the biggest," Gatdula said. "For a dance crew to be able to be highlighted as the main act at a Vegas show kinda boggles my brain right now."
That boggling hasn't been getting in the way of prepping for the string of performances, however. The JabbaWockeeZ have been pulling the equivalent of collegiate cram sessions — 20-hour days of meetings, press and choreography in "the lab" to build MÜS.I.C into a game changing event for the local hip-hop dance community that Gatdula grew up in while attending Cimarron Memorial High School.
"A hip-hop crew can have a Vegas show," stressed the SoCal transplant, who still dances with local troupes Full Force and Super Cr3w. "I think it's definitely going to make an impact on the Vegas scene, hopefully push more kids to be in the arts."
The high-energy show will push the JabbaWockeeZ, too. After all, 90 minutes is a long time to be performing their style of tightly choreographed hip-hop dance. Each number on America's Best Dance Crew clocks in at only two minutes.
"Any chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists if they want to do any interning..." Gatdula joked, before shrugging off the physical demands of the new Vegas gig. "It'll be tiring, but this is what we do. We dance. It's our profession."