BWW Review: AMERICAN DANCE MACHINE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY Captivates Audiences with Legendary Musical Theater Numbers
This past Monday marked the opening night of the American Dance Machine for the 21st Century (ADM21) as they returned to New York City. Founded and Produced by Artistic Director Nikki Feirt Atkins, ADM21 is dedicated to creating a living and vibrant archive of classic and current notable musical theater choreography. Continuing the legacy of the late Lee Theodore, who established the original American Dance Machine in 1976 until her death in 1987, and believed that "many great choreographic works are lost with the musical they once embellished," the impetus to preserve these dances drove Theodore and continues to drive Ms. Atkins.
This year's program, directed by Wayne Cilento with live music provided by musical director Eugene Gwozdz, includes theater dances from "Broadway and Beyond," featuring numbers by some of our favorite choreographers such as Jack Cole, Bob Fosse, Jerome Robbins, and Mia Michaels from some of iconic musicals including West Side Story, After Midnight, Singin' in the Rain, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, by a troupe of 20 very talented Broadway veterans.
Some notable pieces include Agnes De Mille's "Dream Ballet" from Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma, which was absolutely breathtaking as the dancers gracefully floated across the stage; the high energy of Billy Wilson's "Sweet Georgia Brown" from Bubbling Brown Sugar; and the smooth moves of Jerome Robbins' "Cool" from West Side Story. As a fellow tapper, I would be remiss to not mention the stunning tap dancing in Warren Carlyle's "Happy as the Day is Long" from After Midnight. Just when you thought the night couldn't get any better, it did: the laughter in the theater from Wayne Cilento's "Coffee Break" in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; to the loud applause from Tommy Tune's "Our Favorite Son" in The Will Rogers Follies; to smiles of everyone for Michael Bennett's "Opening Audition" in A Chorus Line.
This show was awesome! The show progressed smoothly as it transitioned nicely from piece to piece. This is the perfect show to rekindle old memories and spark the interest of these iconic dance numbers and beloved choreographers. It is truly a lot of fun, I highly recommend it!
Be sure to catch this limited engagement at The Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, now through January 3, 2016. Tickets can be purchased via Joyce Charge at (212) 242-0800 or by visiting www.joyce.org. Last year's performances sold out and this year promises to do the same!
For more information about the American Dance Machine for the 21st Century, please visit www.ADM21.org!