Our Summer on Broadway
DS managing editor Rachel Zar and I love musicals—a lot. (Rachel even participated in a family musical every year growing up!) So whenever we have the opportunity to see a Broadway show, we make a mad dash for the Great White Way and eagerly scramble to our seats. From old favorites to the danciest new musicals, here's what we thought of the shows we've seen this summer.
Nice Work If You Can Get It
This show surprised us with its fun plot, kooky characters and complex (often hilarious) dance numbers. Plus, nothing beats seeing Matthew Broderick at home on the Broadway stage. It was hard not to sing along to the recognizable Gershwin tunes (“Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” “ ‘S Wonderful” and “Fascinating Rhythm” were a few of our faves).
There’s a reason that Memphis has won four Tony’s including Best Musical. We think that reason is the dancing. Packed with a ridiculously talented cast, this tale of a radio DJ who’s fighting against segregation in the 50s will keep you grooving in your seat the whole time.
While the musical is very dance heavy, we weren't in love with it. It could just be the extremely distracting digital set. That said, leading man Richard Fleeshman is a major hunk and totally kept us entertained. Plus, there are some fabulous dancers—like Afra Hines!—that we know you'll love.
We're sure you've figured it out by now, but we're obsessed with this show! It is, after all, the danciest musical currently on Broadway. Christopher Gattelli's Best Choreography Tony Award was more than deserved and the dancers do not disappoint. We grinned like fools throughout the entire show. If you can only see one musical this summer, make it Newsies.
Shows we're dying to see:
Bring It On: The Musical, directed and choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler!
Once, the 2012 Tony Award winner for Best Musical.
Well, this brings class videos to a whole new level! Choreographer Phil Wright and dancer Ashley Liai have been together eight-plus years, but she was still in total shock when he proposed to her mid-dance at Millennium Dance Complex earlier this week. Why? Well, the whole thing was unbelievably perfect.
In the dance industry, dancers don't always have a say in what they wear on their bodies. This can get tricky if you're asked to wear something that compromises your own personal values. So what should you do if you find yourself in this sticky situation? We sat down for a Q&A with "Dancing with the Stars" alumn Ashly Costa to answer that very question. Here's what she had to say about the options dancers have surrounding questionable costumes.
The groundwork for Erin Carpenter's company, Nude Barre, began when she was a teenager. At 16, she earned a spot in the residency program at The Kennedy Center in partnership with Dance Theatre of Harlem. "We were required to wear nude—as in, our actual skin tone—tights and shoes," she remembers. Carpenter brought her "sun tan" tights and a pair of pink ballet shoes with her, because that was all she could find. But she wasn't allowed in class because her dancewear didn't match her skin. "I was so embarrassed," she says. "I looked unprepared. I just didn't have the right nudes." Her teacher explained that the dancers dyed their tights and pancaked their shoes.