Do you wanna touch?

At the Ballet III: Can’t Touch This

Play “spot the diva” with this lineup.

Play “spot the diva” with this lineup.

At the Ballet III: Can’t Touch This, 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday; $15-$20. Found Space Theatre Productions at the Sacramento Ballet Studio, 1631 K Street; (916) 552-5800, ext. 2; Through June 17.

The Sacramento Ballet Studios

1631 K St.
Sacramento, CA 95814

(916) 552-5800x101

Rated 5.0

Sophisticated it ain’t—except for its piano-and-voice-only rendition of “Stormy Weather,” perhaps. But At the Ballet III: Can’t Touch This is as enjoyable as shows come. It bristles with the energy and excitement of youth as it dashes through several decades of pop music beginning before its young performers were born and continuing through, oh, last month, maybe?

Created by the brothers Stewart (Alex, 20, and Tim, 22), Found Space Theatre Productions’ ATB III is a musical-theater fundraiser for the Sacramento Ballet, at whose studios the performances are held. Alex Stewart, who is now an apprentice dancer with the company, created the first At the Ballet three years ago as his senior project at Natomas Charter School. He enlisted Tim, who also had attended the school’s performing and fine-arts program, and several of their friends to perform it. They did a second program last year. So far, they have raised more than $12,000 for the ballet company.

The show’s two-dozen songs are linked by a clever script that plays off the real (or perceived) personalities of the performers, from sage to simpleton, diva to dummy. They are all likeable in the extreme—and talented, too. In addition to the Stewarts, the performers include Ryan Blanning, Ruby Brungess, Urias Davis, Taylor Grossman, Hunter Guenza, Olivia Hughes, Annie Purvis, Julia Soto and Rebecca Yarborough. They are accompanied by the fine four-piece band Schlagel-Schlage and the Schlagettes. Also featured is “Sean Nill,” in whose performance Tim Stewart has a hand. Young Carly Stewart (yep, a younger sibling) opens the show with MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This,” which scores high on the suck-you-in-with-cuteness chart.

Among the highlights—all expertly performed and some surprisingly staged—are: “Okay, It’s Alright With Me” by character Sean Nill; “Forget You,” by Guenza; Grossman’s rendition of “Make You Feel My Love”; Davis’ “Single Ladies” that goes way beyond Beyonce; and the show-stopping finale, “Somebody to Love.”