The 2022 revival of Bob Fosse’s Dancin’ at The Old Globe Brings Magic, Flare, and Glittery Broadway Essence

As Well as A Beautiful Celebration of the Human Body 

A Blog View by Alejandra Enciso-Dardashti

Jōvan Dansberry with the cast of Bob Fosse's Dancin'. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.

Many people are not aware that San Diego has always been an incubator for great stage projects that move on, grow, travel, and win a bunch of awards. More will have the chance to experience this great dynamic firsthand with the 2022 revival of Bob Fosse’s Dancin’ at  The Old Globe. This piece premiered in 1978 at the Broadhurst Theatre in New York and curiously so, moved to the Ambassador where currently Chicago, another Fosse musical, is playing. Fosse is an actor, choreographer, dancer, director, and screenwriter known for his love of movement, women, and, jazz hands! He also swept the award world in 1973 winning an Emmy, a Tony, and, an Oscar. 

Jacob Guzman and Mattie Love in Bob Fosse's Dancin'. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.
With all that weight and history, Dancin’ in this 2022 boost premiering at The Old Globe, should not disappoint. And, it absolutely did not. What a perfect way to kick off International Dance Day. All the magic, flare, and glittery Broadway essence are there with a bold celebration of not just choreography, but the human body and its beauty. Directed and musically staged by Fosee alumni and cast member of the 1978 production, Wayne Cilento with Mr. Fosse’s choreography reproduced by Christine Colby Jacques, associate direction/musical staging, and additional choreographic reconstruction by Corinne McFadden Herrera, Produced in cooperation with Nicole Fosse, the late choreographer's daughter, each step is bolder and those legs go up higher.

The ensemble of principal cast members hails from different Broadway as well as Broadway touring productions, getting to fully play on stage showcasing their ability and multiple threats. Ioana Alfonso, Yeman Brown, Peter John Chursin, Dylis Croman, Tony d’Alelio, Jōvan Dansberry, Karli Dinardo, Jacob Guzman, Manuel Herrera, Kolton Krouse, Mattie Love, Yani Marin, Nando Morland, Khori Michelle Petinaud, Ida Saki, and Ron Todorowski, tear up that stage strutting their stuff in Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung's sexy, sensual costume designs. Every single member is amazing but, you know the comment about how Ginger Rogers did everything that her partner Fred Astaire did, but ‘backwards and in high heels’? well, Kolton Krouse does practically the whole show in high heels and that deserves an honorable mention. The poise, the flair, the air... Another honorable mention goes to Mattie Love's hairography, an added value for sure.

The cast gives showdown energy, sharing with the audience and bringing them in while having fun and enjoying themselves as well as loving to dance. This is definitely a team effort that rounded out a well-crafted, high note show. Robert Brill's scenic design along with David Grill's lighting design accentuates the moves and takes audiences through different visual vibes going from the backstage of a large theatre to glancing (in my eyes) at musicals like West Side Story and  Next to Normal. It also gives each artist a time to shine -literally- along with their name in a Vegas show sass. 

(from left) Kolton Krouse, Ida Saki, Khori Michelle Petinaud, Jacob Guzman, and Yani Marin
in Bob Fosse's Dancin'. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.
Dancin' does not have a plot per se but it doesn't matter. Aside from being warned in the first minute, this celebration has everyone hooked going through the iconic choreography and the music, oh that music! Live, loud, precise, and insanely keeping the beat and tone thanks to Peter Hylenski's sound design, music supervision, orchestrations, incidental music, vocal arrangements by Jim Abbott, music direction by Darryl Archibald, with arrangements and additional music by David Dabbon.

The first act is all dance, moves, and music. You feel that the second one will be more of the same but no, there is a serious shift where the dancers bring a screen and share patriotic American moments that also make reference to putting an end to the lack of diversity on the Broadway stages as well as what it means to be American and how that looks like. A surprise for sure yet, pertinent, and on point with a cool projection design by Finn Ross. 

This show is a party for the senses, definitely a must-see. Playing until May 29. For performance times and ticket prices click here.


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