Greek Town adds charm to locally shot “Do You Wanna Dance?”

By Jae-Ha Kim
Chicago Sun-Times
October 23, 1998

3 stars

Shot in Chicago in 18 days, “Do You Wanna Dance?” is a delightful little sleeper that captures the richness of the city as it tells the story of a dancer forced to serve community service in tightly knit Greek Town.

Never mind the goofy title, which implies a giddy, mindless romp.

“Do You Wanna Dance?” uses dance as the catalyst to tell the story of a friendship between two unlikely men. Billy Duncan (Robert Krantz) is a convicted auto thief who avoids jail time by giving 500 hours of dance lessons to senior citizens. And Father Chris Kerhulas (Robert Costanzo) is a priest who is as passionate about the  Blackhawks as he is his congregation. (The priest offers to reduce Billy’s service time if the young man can get a goal past him. He never can.)

While the older parishoners are annoyed that Billy can’t speak Greek (he’s of Irish and Italian descent), doesn’t know moussaka from chocolate mousse and constantly mispronounces “gyros,” he wins the affection of a beautiful medical student (Patricia Skeriotis) whose snooty mother disapproves of the relationship.

There’s no groundbreaking plot line here, but the story is told in such a directly funny way that moviegoers root for the filmmakers to give them the happy ending they crave.

Krantz, who also wrote and produced the film, is a natural on screen as Billy. A limber dancer with dark eyes, he makes even the implausible ring true, such as an exuberant pas d’un in the streets of Greek Town.

This fictional movie was inspired by Krantz’s friendship with the real-life Kerhulas, who has a parish in Greek Town.

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