Rock ‘n’ Roll and dance: Flaming Hearts kick it up

Flaming Hearts
Tahoe Onstage images by Larry Sabo

The music is hot and so are the dancers with The Flaming Hearts – A Rock Revue, was presented in a pair of showcase performances in Harveys Cabaret.

Champagne Productions’ 50-minute show features a live rock trio and a dance troupe. Directed and choreographed by Jessica Broyles, who has presented and starred in numerous Lake Tahoe productions, The Flaming Hearts could be Stateline’s next long-running show beginning this summer.

“It’s going to be rocking,” said Sarah Roulias, the production’s rock-hardbody aerialist. “The music is awesome. We’re melding new rock with some classics.”

The show performed in front of a sellout crowd on Saturday, April 16.

“Everything really come together well,” Broyles said. “The Harrah’s-Harveys crew really were great with the lighting, sound and stage. They made it work.”

Singer Lindsay Cheek and guitarist Joel O’Connor, who perform as the duo Bread and Butter and in the South Shore-based Lost Mountain Band, play live along with drummer Jay Larson.

While musicians generally move to Nashville to make a career, Cheek grew up in Nashville and relocated to Tahoe. During a rehearsal less than a week before the show’s debut, Cheek displayed a strong, sultry singing voice presented with a Southern drawl. It was hard to imagine she one had trepidation about being in front of a live audience.

“I used to suffer from debilitating stage fright and it messed with my performances,” she said.

Cheek, who learned from her mother that she sang before she even knew how to speak, knew she was destined to become a professional singer so she overcame her stage fright by working through it.

“I put myself in a position to fail and I did,” she said. “I realized I can’t be perfect all the time. It’s about telling the truth and as long I sing from a real place, it’s honest. By doing this, I felt I am doing justice to the songs. Whatever happens is out of my hands.”

Champagne Productions hires bands that perform at Heavenly Mountain Resort. After she heard the Lost Mountain Band, Broyles knew she had found the musicians for The Flaming Hearts.

“We are covering all different genres of rock,” Cheek said. “I love it.  I did some theater in Alabama but this is definitely a challenge. All the dancers here are super professional.”

The dancers are Alex Gumm, Dana Nott, Jayde Reid, Marla Richardson, Melania De Los Santos, Kaitlin Murphy, Sarah Roulias,  and pole artist Featherpistol. Jeanne Tannone is the fashion designer.

Nott is the troupe’s lone homegrown dancer. She is a graduate of Whittell High School in Zephyr Cove.

“(The Flaming Hearts has) fun, ass-kicking choreography,” Nott said. “There are slow, sexy moments but also some hard-hitting turns and kicks. It’s different from any show I’ve done.”

Gumm, the male dancer, agreed.

“It’s been fun since Day 1,” he said. “I love how energetic it is. I’ve never done anything like this before with the whole rock and roll vibe.”

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Flaming Hearts
Director Jessica Broyles, left, and Marla Richardson are on their toes to the sound of the White Stripes during a rehearsal for The Flaming Hearts.
Tahoe Onstage photos by Tim Parsons
Flaming Hearts
The cast, clockwise from the top: Alex Gumm, Kaitlin Murphy, Jayde Reid, Marla Richardson, Dana Nott, Sara Roulins, and Melania De Los Santos. In the center is Lindsay Cheek, the show’s singer.
Jayde Reid
Jayde Reid is in the spotlight during rehearsal at the Marcia Sarosik Dance Studio in South Lake Tahoe.
Flaming Hearts
Jessica Broyles, Alex Gumm and Marla Richardson tap to “Rag and Bone” by the White Stripes.

Flaming Hearts Flaming Hearts

Flaming Hearts
Dance studio veteran Betsy the one-eyed Boston terrier is in synch with the human tappers.

ABOUT Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons
Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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