As my pal Zack points out to me, I've neglected to mention another big show closing on Broadway: Dolly Parton's 9 to 5 musical will close Sept. 6.
However, a national tour will launch Sept. 20 in Nashville.
And yesterday a new show stormed the stage - the sizzling Burn the Floor. Here's a review from Michael Kuchwara with the Associated Press:
There's nothing like a little help from a popular television talent contest to put some oomph into a Broadway show's potential box office appeal.
Burn the Floor, an exhausting, perpetual-motion dance extravaganza on view at the Longacre Theatre, has spiced up its footwork with the addition of two big names from ABC's Dancing With the Stars — Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Karina Smirnoff (pictured here).
The twosome, appearing in the production through Aug. 16, are the best thing about this relentless show, nearly two hours of hip-wiggling, pelvis-grinding and arm-waving by a bevy of often bare-chested guys and babes in the skimpiest of outfits.
Chmerkovskiy and Smirnoff have definite personalities. He possesses a swagger and a smile that borders on a boyish sneer. She generates a wild abandon. Maybe it's all that untamed red hair.
And their personalities come through when they dance together in a show that could use more character. Despite the overt sexiness, there's something bland about the evening, a generic eroticism that needs a dose of quirkiness during a surprisingly monotonous tour through the history of ballroom dancing.
It's not that the 20 dancers, drawn from all over the world, aren't technically proficient. They can swirl, swerve, kick, slide and glide with ease. But Australian director and choreographer Jason Gilkison has arranged the show, which has toured the world over the last 10 years, in a deadening manner.
There are scattered salutes to the waltz, fox trot, tango, cha-cha, samba, rumba and some jivey boogie-woogie. And a cursory nod to what appears to be Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, performed to one of the tunes associated with those movie icons, Irving Berlin's "Let's Face the Music and Dance."
Unlike theater greats such as Bob Fosse, Michael Bennett or Jerome Robbins, Gilkison brings no distinct style to his dance creations. Efficiency is all.
Still, a couple of other dancers make more than a fleeting impression. A quicksilver lad named Sasha Farber scampers across the stage with the fleetness of a gazelle doing high kicks. And the long-legged Petra Murgatroyd slithers seductively. One wonders what she might be like as one of the merry murderesses in the musical Chicago.
Singers Ricky Rojas and Rebecca Tapia are backed by a hardworking, on-stage band that is heavy on percussion. Most of the musical selections are obvious: "It Don't Mean a Thing (If it Ain't Got That Swing), "Magalena" and "Sing Sing Sing," for example.
The backdrop for all this athleticism is a setting of Las Vegas glitz with the ice machine going into overdrive for several numbers when a foggy air of mystery is called for. And, of course, stars twinkle in one of the more obvious romantic numbers.
To get a better idea of the fascination of ballroom dancing rent the DVD of Strictly Ballroom, Baz Luhrmann's wonderful 1992 film about two outcasts who try to make it in this unique world.
Still, the cast of Burn the Floor seems to be having a good time, even to the point of carrying the action into the aisles of the Longacre. But then ballroom dancing may be more fun to perform than to watch. Lessons anyone?