Review Roundup: Bob Fosse's DANCIN' Opens on Broadway!

The production's direction and musical staging is by Tony Award winner Wayne Cilento, one of the stars of the original Broadway production.

By: Mar. 19, 2023
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Review Roundup: Bob Fosse's DANCIN' Opens on Broadway!
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The best of Broadway gathered tonight at the Music Box Theatre to celebrate the opening of Bob Fosse's DANCIN'. Check out the reviews below!

DANCIN' is Fosse's full-throated, full-bodied celebration of dancers and dancing. Utterly reimagined for the 21st century, this DANCIN' brims with a level of warmth, emotion, and color seldom seen in modern interpretations of Fosse's influential style and features some of his most inventive and rarely performed choreography. With New York's hottest cast performing wall-to-wall dance, including Fosse classics such as "Mr. Bojangles," and "Sing Sing Sing." DANCIN' delivers the quintessential Broadway experience for Fosse fans and first-timers alike. You think you've seen dancing, but you've never seen DANCIN' like this.

The production's direction and musical staging is by Tony Award winner Wayne Cilento, one of the stars of the original Broadway production, and is produced in cooperation with Nicole Fosse.

Review Roundup: Bob Fosse's DANCIN' Opens on Broadway! Jesse Green, New York Times: In the often-thrilling, often-frustrating revival of the 1978 dancical, which reincarnates the spirit and choreography of Bob Fosse, the two possibilities are much the same. Substantially revamped and restaged by Wayne Cilento, a standout in the original production, this 'Dancin’' argues that Fosse’s genius was constrained by the pedestrian storytelling of musical theater, with its 'villains,' 'baritone heroes' and 'Christmas trees.' True Fosseism, it seems, can fully thrive only in the abstract, Olympian realms of George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins.

Review Roundup: Bob Fosse's DANCIN' Opens on Broadway! Chris Jones, New York Daily News: That truth surely dances around your head at 'Bob Fosse’s Dancin’,' the fascinating, if deeply conflicted, new Broadway revival of the hit 1978 revue 'Dancin’.' It’s now more tightly branded around its famous, or infamous, choreographer and restaged at the Music Box Theatre by Wayne Cilento, an original cast member working with a knockout big band sound, a wildly zesty costume design from Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung, and 22 ensemble company members with equal billing and, I imagine, no living recollection of 1978.

Review Roundup: Bob Fosse's DANCIN' Opens on Broadway! Lester Fabian Brathwaite, Entertainment Weekly: When the show hits — does it hit. Serotonin from tip to taint. But there are a few lulls, most often when the dance isn't the main focus. The spoken parts can feel awkward at times and because Fosse's movements are so distinctive they can also become a bit repetitive.

Review Roundup: Bob Fosse's DANCIN' Opens on Broadway! Jackson McHenry, Vulture: Dancin’, as revived and revised, softens that edge while remaining charged. The new lineup is intentionally more inclusive and edits some of Fosse’s inherent chauvinism. The dancers of the 'Female Star Spot' complain about the lyrics of Dolly Parton’s 'Here You Come Again' and Krouse, who is nonbinary, takes on Reinking’s iconic nothing-but-legs 'Trumpet Solo.' But this is still a show about pushing the body hard, and the cast of Dancin’ obviously relishes that challenge. All the ensemble members stand out in their own ways giving personality to their specific solos taking individual closing bows. By then, they all look thrilled and exhausted, admirable and vulnerable. That’s part of the seduction: They’re pushing themselves to their limits in the name of a good show. The ethos throws you back to an earlier era of Broadway, to something a little more sinewy and id-driven than your typical family-friendly movie-adaptation musical. It’s almost disappointing to exit afterward into a Times Square that isn’t full of graffiti and porno theaters.

Review Roundup: Bob Fosse's DANCIN' Opens on Broadway! Tim Teeman, The Daily Beast: Dancin’ is mostly spectacular, until it suddenly isn’t—before ramping itself up again for the finale. An audience member behind me whooped through the first act and into the bravura first number of the second. And then their whoops hushed as the show dialed itself down. The difference in energy, not just on stage but in the theater, was stark; it was as if someone had stuck a pin in a balloon.

Review Roundup: Bob Fosse's DANCIN' Opens on Broadway! Matthew Wexler, Queerty: Cilento delivers on his promise. His staging faithfully pays homage to the choreographer’s work through a relevant lens for a new generation. For anyone looking to tap their toes and clap their jazz hands at a Broadway show, Bob Fosse’s Dancin’ delivers.

Review Roundup: Bob Fosse's DANCIN' Opens on Broadway! Melissa Rose Bernardo, New York Stage Review: The heart, soul, and irrepressible spirit of Bob Fosse’s Dancin’, which just opened in a burst of sparkle and joy at Broadway’s Music Box Theatre, is best embodied in the curtain call. One by one, each dancer glides out from the wings and to the front of the stage performing a different combo—wearing the costume from their biggest moment in the show, adding a few steps, spins, or flourishes from said moment. All the while, the dancer’s name appears in blazing blue neon letters on the back wall of the stage. Every one of them is given star billing, and it would be unfair not to name the full company here: Ioana Alfonso, Yeman Brown, Peter John Chursin, Dylis Croman, Tony d’Alelio, Jōvan Dansberry, Karli Dinardo, Aydin Eyikan, Pedro Garza, Jacob Guzman, Manuel Herrera, Afra Hines, Gabriel Hyman, Kolton Krouse, Mattie Love, Krystal Mackie, Yani Marin, Nando Morland, Khori Michelle Petinaud, Ida Saki, Ron Todorowski, and Neka Zang.

Review Roundup: Bob Fosse's DANCIN' Opens on Broadway! David Finkle, New York Stage Review: Anyone attending Bob Fosse’s Dancin’ hoping to get a fresh gander at adored numbers like 'Steam Heat' or 'Rich Man’s Frug' or 'All That Jazz' or you-name-it – that’s to say, anyone waiting with bated breath for this supposed salute to eight-time Tony-winning choreographer Bob Fosse – is best advised to have second thoughts. Nothing like those kinds of re-creations is coming your way.

Review Roundup: Bob Fosse's DANCIN' Opens on Broadway! Jonathan Mandell, New York Theater: 'Bob Fosse’s Dancin’' is a highly energetic if uneven two hour exploration of the Fosse style — sultry hip rolls, sure, but also athletic leaps. The show has no overall plot, and a stage set that looks designed for a rock concert tour — big, black industrial-looking scaffolding and a back wall that serves as a video screen, mostly for flashes of color. But there are dozens of sometimes dazzling dances performed by twenty-two gorgeously talented and hard-working cast members. They don’t just dance — there’s a poem here, a monologue there, occasional brief dialogue, some competent singing – but boy do they dance! Five of the performers are making their Broadway debuts, but most are veterans of Broadway ensembles, several for twenty years or more, who for the first time are seeing their names in lights, literally — projected in huge letters behind them one by one as each takes their bows at the end.

Review Roundup: Bob Fosse's DANCIN' Opens on Broadway! Robert Hofler, The Wrap: I don’t recall how Fosse ended his 'Dancin’.' Cilento ends his with a real flourish. He gives each of his nearly two dozen dancers the full-star treatment, complete with his, her or their name emblazoned (lighting by David Grill) in tall letters on the upstage wall. Cilento, who appeared in the original company of 'A Chorus Line,' presents the anti-'Chorus Line' with this extended curtain call. These quick solo turns feature some of the evening’s best choreography. Here and elsewhere in the show, Dylis Croman, Jovan Dansberry, Pedro Garza, Jacob Guzman, Mattie Love, Nando Morland and Ron Todorowski grab our attention to mesmerize. Now, that’s entertainment.

Review Roundup: Bob Fosse's DANCIN' Opens on Broadway! Kobi Kassal, Theatrely: What I admire about this production is that it knows exactly what it is. A monologue at the top of the show states, 'the viewing of too many musical comedies with sentimental and over romantic plots may cause serious and sometimes incurable damage to the playgoer and the critics’ standards. Therefore, what you are about to see is an almost plotless musical.' And boy, do they deliver on that promise.

Review Roundup: Bob Fosse's DANCIN' Opens on Broadway! Gillian Russo, New York Theatre Guide: He's added in some famous Fosse numbers from other shows, but Cilento otherwise preserves Fosse's original Dancin' choreography, much of which pushes the boundaries of, and departs from, his style as we think of it. And by doing so, Bob Fosse's Dancin' (as the revival's title has been stylized) reminds us of the breadth of Fosse's talent and resurfaces a facet of his legacy we often forget: joy. Dancin' brims with it — in Fosse's moves, the dancers' soaring energy, the lively orchestra, and, thanks to all that, in the audience.

Review Roundup: Bob Fosse's DANCIN' Opens on Broadway! Elysa Gardner, New York Sun: Dance may well be the most demanding and all-consuming of the performing arts. Those who pursue it seriously must be both actors and athletes, and the best have as keen an affinity for musical expression as any singer or instrumentalist. The difference is that, for dancers, the entire body becomes the instrument, so that no part of it — from the toes to the hips to the eyeballs to the top of the head — is inconsequential.

Review Roundup: Bob Fosse's DANCIN' Opens on Broadway!
Average Rating: 71.5%

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