Laura Johnson and her sister-in-law, Jen Ostiguy, were seated in the front row at Chevalier Theater in Medford Saturday night for the Maks and Val “Stripped Down” nationally touring show.
The seating location led to a thrill-of-a-lifetime moment for Johnson when she was called to the stage to be a part of the show featuring the two superstar dancing brothers, Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Valentin Chmerkovskiy, known for their incredible performances on ABC-TV’s “Dancing With The Stars.”
Johnson, a Peabody resident, did her very best and was all smiles during a flashy dance number with the brothers that had the huge audience cheering and roaring in its appreciation.
It was an honor to be cherished for Johnson, who describes herself as a huge fan of “Dancing With the Stars” show. Think of singing on stage with Sonny and Cher, or Donny and Marie Osmond, two legendary duos that also appeared on widely popular TV shows – and that’s a reasonable comparison to Johnson dancing on stage with Maks and his younger sibling, Val.
To their credit, the brothers pronounced Peabody correctly, with the accent on the right syllable. Some non-residents have been apt to call Peabody – Pea-BODY.
“Peabody sounds like a sophisticated place,” said Maks.
Said Johnson after the show about her opportunity to be on stage with Maks and Val, “It was amazing. I can’t believe it. I’m a huge fan. They’re great. I watch “Dancing With The Stars” every year.”
The show itself was extraordinary, with the two supremely talented brothers taking their audience on a personal, story-telling journey about their lives, interspersed with spectacular dance numbers. The brothers’ dance partners, JJ Rabone and Alexis Warr Burton, were also sensational.
Maks and Val remained on stage after the show for selfies and autograph requests. The brother greeted Laura Johnson warmly after the show, graciously acknowledging her appearance in the show.
Here’s hoping that Lynn Auditorium’s super general manager, Jamie Marsh, can bring Val and Maks to the local venue – and perhaps a reunion, on-stage appearance by Peabody’s Laura Johnson.