The thrills of the revival of Bob Fosse’s Dancin’ on Broadway (Music Box Theatre, booking to September 17) are many, and pulsatingly beautiful to behold. There is, principally, the mesmerizing dancing of the 16-strong cast (one was absent from the performance this critic attended), and around them all that accentuates their physicality: Robert Brill’s simple design of scaffolds and descending curtains, Reid Bartleme and Harriet Jung’s sexy, playful costuming, David Grill’s lighting (bulbs of all colors flashing, spotlight beams, bright color baths for backgrounds), and Finn Ross’ video design.
Wayne Cilento’s direction and staging throbs with razzmatazz, but also mischief and subtlety. Cilento danced in the original production, and is aided in his efforts to hew close to, and respectfully tweak, Fosse’s choreographic and creative template by Christine Colby Jacques.
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.