Matt Anctil, a Massachusetts native, keeps Flashdance dancers on their toes
Matt Anctil, a Massachusetts native, keeps Flashdance dancers on their toes

Performing on the fast track is nothing new to Matt Anctil, dance captain and swing performer in Flashdance: The Musical coming to Boston's Citi Emerson Colonial Theatre March 11-23.

A Southbridge, Mass., native, Anctil got used to it at Burncoat High School's performing arts academy in Worcester.

"Mom drove me to school in the morning. I'd dance all day, take the train to Boston for classes at Boston Youth Moves. Then back to Worcester at night for shows, often changing in the car. I'm used to it," said Anctil.

It's a real dancer's show and his biggest challenge, career-wise, both mentally and physically.

"It's like a jigsaw puzzle, since I play all the boys, so I have to know all the parts in case someone is sick and can't perform. At times it feels like I'm playing mind games and have multiple personalities, especially when I'm making sure that everything is covered. But I'm up for it," he said.

Flashdance: The Musical celebrates the 30th anniversary of the 1983 hit movie about Alex Owens and holding on to one's dreams. It features the original Grammy-winning soundtrack with additional tunes from Robert Cary and Robbie Roth.

Anctil joined the tour in January. He has also done the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and La Cage Aux Folles, in which he was assistant dance captain.

As dance captain, he makes sure the quality is high and the dancers performing at peak.

"It's a challenge and I love it -- it's what I've always wanted to do," he said.

Tickets start at $34 at broadwayinboston.com or call 800-982-2787.

On the marquee

  • YOUNG THESPIANS: Tyngsboro's Innovation Academy Charter School presents the Tony Award-winning musical In the Heights Thursday through Sunday, March 13-16, at the school, located at 72 Tyng Road. The show, by Lin Manuel Miranda, tells the story of a vibrant community in New York's Washington Heights neighborhood. Call 978-649-0432 for tickets... Pelham Parks and Recreation's children's advanced theatre group presents Death Defying Acts in Sherburne Hall at the Pelham Municipal Building on Friday, March 7, at 7 p.m., and Saturday, March 8, at 4 and 7 p.m. Free. Contact recreation@pelhamweb.com or call 603-635-2721 for info.
    Cameron Merullo stars in In the Heights at Innovation Academy in Tyngsboro
    Cameron Merullo stars in In the Heights at Innovation Academy in Tyngsboro
  • BENNETT IN BEVERLY: Tony Bennett, the 17-time Grammy Award-winning musician whose music spans overs six decades, performs on Thursday, April 17, at 7:30 p.m. at North Shore Music Theatre, Dunham Road, Beverly. Tickets, $90-$136, on sale now at 978-232-7200, at nsmt.org or in person at the box office.
  • BOSTON SCENE: Tickets are on sale for Peter and the Starcatcher, the five-time Tony Award winning musical play that comes to the Citi Performing Arts Center Shubert Theatre May 27-June 1. A grownup's prequel to Peter Pan, the imaginative work is based on the best-selling novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson and features a dozen actors playing over 100 characters trying to figure out how Peter Pan became The Boy Who Never Grew Up. Most appropriate for ages 10 and up. $30-$90 at 866-348-9738 or citicenter.org.
  • 'DONKEY' DANCE DEAL: American Repertory Theater's hit production The Donkey Show celebrates its 500th performance on March 8. To celebrate, Oberon, its 2 Arrow St., Cambridge, performance space, is offering 500 tickets for the dance floor priced at $10 each during March. The Donkey Show offers a unique disco experience, complete with mirror balls, roller skaters, hustle queens and feathered divas who tell the story of Shakespeare's classic A Midsummer Night's Dream against a backdrop of classic '70s music. Visit AmericanRepertoryTheater.org or call 617-547-8300 for tickets.

Nancye Tuttle's email address is nancyedt@verizon.net.