May 2, 2022
Written by Kristen Schweizer
Dancin’ is an endless buffet of pure talent without a cathartic main course. It opens with stand-out company member Manuel Herrera reminding the audience that they are attending a dance show – with mere sprinkles of story. The only cohesive theme in this production is the memory of one legendary choreographer who still deserves marquee billing. The spirit of Fosse remains alive at The Old Globe Theatre.
This Broadway-bound revival is a world premiere update of the late, great pioneer Bob Fosse’s original 1978 show. The 2022 upgrades include dazzling theater technology – such as a 30-foot tall projection screen – and condensing the formerly three-act show into two breathtaking halves. The trimming of the original production is for good reason; the demanding show treats audiences to as much dancing in one piece as perhaps four ‘regular’ musicals combined.
Direction and musical staging are provided by Tony Award-winner Wayne Cilento. He is one of Broadway’s favorite choreographers thanks to his work on numerous productions including Wicked, The Who’s Tommy, and Sweet Charity, and a part of musical theater history after inspiring and originating the role of Mike in A Chorus Line. Cilento received his first Tony nomination as a featured cast member in the original production of Dancin,’ directed by Fosse. The decades of experience and his heart for the art all shine in every choice Cilento makes, from casting, to cuts, to relinquishing control in letting these dancers be themselves within Fosse’s original choreography.
“I think the mistake some people have made with Bob’s work in the past has been to make it too mechanical, in the sense that every move is completely isolated and stylized and specific… I’m teaching our company the steps and given the dancers the freedom to interpret them in the way they dance. That’s what Bob did for us in the original company.” – Wayne Cilento, in an interview with Danielle Mages Amato
This show is the best of what it is. If you love watching dance, you’ll want to see this show during this special six-week engagement and then fly to New York to see it again after (my prediction) it bags a couple of Tony Awards.
Don’t forget to arrive early, because the jasmine is in bloom right now, so you’ll want time to enjoy a beverage from Lady Carolyn’s Pub in the perfumed plaza. This is a great show to treat your mom this Mother’s Day or to treat yourself any day during this limited engagement run.
Performances of Bob Fosse’s Dancin’ run from April 19 until May 29, 2022, on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the Old Globe Theatre, part of the Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. Tickets are now on sale and available at www.TheOldGlobe.org.