Tuesday, August 16, 2016


MAKS AND VAL--OUR WAY---Their touring show came to L.A. over the weekend. It is backed and presented by Live Nation, the same company that backs Derek and Julianne Hough's concert tour. While Derek and Julianne's is "big arena Vegas-Ready" with tons of flash and slick numbers, Maks and Val's show is deliberately different. Theirs is more "homey" and personal. They want us to see their story of immigrants coming to America with nothing, and working hard to get where they are It is very inspiring and sweet. There are even home movies showing their father talking about how he raised them.

Their dancing is, as you would expect, sensational. Their troupe of dancers, magnificent. As Val says, "These are not back-up dancers. They are our friends and successful in their own right."

The numbers they do fit the narrative of their life stories. I like that. It is excellent for this first concert tour to introduce themselves more fully. Their next tour needs to morph into more present day and have even more extraordinary dance numbers. I'm sure they know that. What was also fun, was that the dance styles they used--jive, samba, paso doble, etc were spelled out on screens while they were doing it. That worked. This was an introductory show to everything.


HERE'S THE INTERVIEW: They brought up some surprising inspirations for their show, including Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton” and John Leguizamo’s solo Broadway show “Ghetto Klown.”

Q: What is this tour about?
Maks: It took, what, Val? Thirty years in the making, I guess. It’s our story about how we came up, did what we’re doing now, how we got to where we are at the moment. We feel our story is not unusual. There are a lot of people out there that go through the same set of obstacles and maybe lose hope at one point or another.
We want to entertain, but we also want to inspire. … We want to say that what you may be going through isn’t unusual. We’ve done it, too. There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve gone through a decade and a half of very tough, tough times and having fun now.
Val: We want to celebrate our relationship as brothers. We want to celebrate our parents motivating us and grooming us in the right direction. … We want to explain how we got to be who we are and some of the antics, some of the unusual sentence-building, and stuff like that.
Q: You must be close as brothers.
Maks: We grew up really tight. We grew up in a small family but with a lot of Mom and Dad constantly telling us: “When we die, you’re the only two who will have each other, you shouldn’t fight” and all that. So I think we kind of got brainwashed into loving each other, for sure.

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