The TV-tested brother act known as Maks & Val, seen her on the Ellen Show in February, bring the dance-infused “narrative of their life story” to the Count Basie for a two-night showcase this week.
If nothing else, the long-running network TV sensation “Dancing with the Stars” has helped make even greater stars of the professional dancers whose job it is to lift up the sometimes dubious celebrities they’ve been paired with.
So it is with Maksim and Valentin Chmerkovskiy, the Ukrainian-born brothers and superstars in the world of competitive Latin dancing who have each won first place titles on DWTS. And for two nights this week, Maks & Val will be telling it in music and motion on the stage of the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank.
Having attained the competition show’s highest honorswith ice dancer Meryl Davis in May 2014, Maks went on to focus upon running his branded chain of dance studios. Val — who first appeared on the show as a student of his older sibling, and won with Hollywood scioness Rumer Willis in May 2015 — soldiered on into the series’ recently wrapped Season 22.
But the barechested bros of the dance floor have a collective story to tell. Described as “an honest and unfiltered narrative of their life story,” the theater-scale extravaganza “Maks & Val Live On Tour: Our Way” represents the Chmerkovskiys’ first major project together: a glitzily choreographed, casino-ready, big-company affair that nonetheless draws its core energy from a highly personal perspective.
Included in the 8 p.m. performances Wednesday and Thursday are nods to the brothers’ origins in the former Soviet Union; their Jewish/Christian family’s uprooting to Brooklyn in the early 1990s; the barriers of language and culture that challenged their rise to the top of their field; and such setbacks as the leg injury that nearly thwarted Maks’ aspirations to a professional dance career. All this, plus the crucial issues of “Who is taller? Who has better hair? Who is better looking?,” as Maks explained to People magazine.
In short, it’s “the show they have dreamed about since childhood,” one that “will surprise and delight with timeless elegance and steamy seduction.”