Broadway's Brightest: 24 triple threats burning up the Great White Way

A Chorus Line
achorusline.com


What You’re In For: In a mirrored room full of job-hungry dancers, the tension is thick as 17 talents compete for just eight spots in a new Broadway musical. You’ll witness a cutthroat audition—and get to know the dancers’ hopes and dreams. If you want to be in this show, you must sing, act and dance!
Danciness Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Meet a Performer: JESSICA LEE GOLDYN
Hometown: Parsippany, NJ
Role: Val
Fun Fact: Jessica, who started dancing at 3, has been a cast member since the revival debuted on Broadway two years ago. And she met her fiancé, Tony Yazbeck, on the line! “He played Al in the original revival cast, and we’re going to be married this fall,” she says, “so you could really say this show has changed my life.”
DS: What’s your favorite thing about dancing on Broadway? “There’s no choreography like in A Chorus Line. It’s so classic and it’s an honor to dance. Every night, no matter how tired I am, when I hear ‘a 5, 6, 7, 8,’ it’s a rush. It’s also amazing when I go out the stage door at the end of the night and people come up to me teary-eyed and say that, in some little way during the show, I changed their life.” —Alison Feller



Chicago
chicagothemusical.com


What You’re In For: Sexy Fosse, scandal in the city and, of course, all that jazz. Whether you dream of being Roxie Hart or Velma Kelly, these foxy criminals will razzle and dazzle you throughout the satirical story of their murder trials. The dancing is technical and stylized—expect jazz, soft shoe and working with large props.
Danciness Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Meet a Performer: MICHAEL CUSUMANO
Hometown: Freeport, Long Island
Role: Ensemble (multiple character roles)
Fun Fact: Michael joined American Ballet Theatre at age 15, the youngest male dancer in the company’s history! He also danced in the movie Center Stage.
DS: How did you master the Fosse style? “My ballet background helped so much, as did learning from the other cast members. I never did Fosse before the show, but it was exciting to learn what the style is really about. The hardest part is the isolation, getting one part of the body to move individually and it has to look a specific way. But I love that kind of precise movement.” —Lauren Levinson

 

Cry-Baby
crybabyonbroadway.com


What You’re In For: Who doesn’t love a steamy teen romance—especially one between the “bad” boy and the “good” girl? If you loved Hairspray and Grease, then Cry-Baby might be your new favorite show! It’s got the misfit group of “Drapes,” the uptight, high-society “Squares,” and athletic, sexy dance scenes. Between the catchy ’50s-inspired tunes, partnering dance sequences and bangin’ tap number, you’ll be crying for more!
Danciness Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Meet a Performer: CAMERON ADAMS
Hometown: Myrtle Beach, SC
Role: Ensemble
Fun Fact: “The only national commercial I’ve ever done was for Levi’s jeans and I had to walk on stilts and sing [lyrics] with my mouth closed!”
DS: What’s your favorite dance number? “‘Baby Baby Baby…’ is all partnering. Rob Ashford, the choreographer, is a genius—the moves are so creative and tailored to fit us. In most shows, an ensemble dancer does the same moves as the girl next to her, but in this show we’re all playing characters. I’m partnered with Marty Lawson and we have so much fun onstage!” —Lauren L.



Curtains
curtainsthemusical.com


What You’re In For: When the leading lady is murdered during the opening night of a sinking musical, detective (and secret theater lover) Frank Cioffi, played by David Hyde Pierce, is assigned to solve the mysterious death. He quarantines the entire cast and crew to the theater for the entirety of his investigation—and while he’s closing the case, he can’t help but try to save the show from closing, too. Ironically, Curtains will be closing June 29, so hurry up and get your tickets!
Danciness Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦

Meet a Performer: MEGAN SIKORA

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Role: Bambi Bernét
Fun Fact: Megan, who has a BA in Dance from Point Park University, played a dancing cello in Europe for six months in the German Beauty and the Beast.
DS: What’s the hardest scene in the show? “The Kansasland number! [Bambi, dressed in American Indian garb, dances a high-energy solo full of kicks and jumps.] It takes a lot of stamina and focus, especially with the partnering. Performing eight times a week, week after week, is hard on the body. I do yoga, Pilates and the occasional ballet barre to keep my muscles strong.” —Brianne Carlon



Grease
greaseonbroadway.com


What You’re In For: You picked ’em! Laura Osnes and Max Crumm, the winners of last summer’s hit reality TV show “Grease: You’re the One That I Want,” play the iconic Sandy and Danny. While they don’t have big dancing roles (save a fierce 8-count for Laura in the last number), the pair sing, act and hand jive impressively. (And yes—Laura remains a brunette and Max pulls off being the cool leader of the pack.)
Danciness Rating: ♦ ♦
Meet a Performer: LAURA OSNES

Hometown: Eagan, MN
Role: Sandy
Fun Fact: “I am an awesome scrapbooker! Also, I will do almost anything for a Reese’s (I LOVE chocolate and peanut butter)!”
DS: How did the TV show prepare you for Broadway? “The rigorous schedule on ‘Grease: You’re the One That I Want’ was good practice for doing eight shows a week—the TV show was actually harder! Now I perform every night, but my days are free. During the TV show, we were up early every morning learning new songs and dances. We were being judged, so it was so high pressure! Now that the competition part is over, the fun begins.” —Abigail Rasminsky

 

Gypsy
gypsybroadway.com


What You’re In For: Even though Gypsy is set during the Great Depression on the dying Vaudeville circuit, the story—about the ultimate stage mom and the shy daughter she forces into the spotlight—still resonates today. Since the show focuses on lower-class performers barely scraping by, most of the dancing is intentionally, comically bad, but one male lead, Tulsa, does have a beautiful dance sequence with original choreography by Jerome Robbins. You’ll also get tap-dancing tots, a (remarkably clean) striptease and the incomparable voice of Broadway legend Patti LuPone, who stars as Mama Rose.
Danciness Rating: ♦ ♦
Meet a Performer: TONY YAZBECK

Hometown: Orlando, FL
Role: Tulsa
Fun Fact: Tony made his Broadway debut at age 11 in the 1989 revival of Gypsy! Now he’s taking on the newest version of the show as the male dance lead, after stints in Oklahoma! and A Chorus Line—where he met his fiancée, Jessica Lee Goldyn. (Meet her on p. 96!)
DS: What do you love most about your role? “In ‘All I Need Is the Girl’ [Tulsa’s big number], I reveal my heart. By the end I’m completely open to the audience. Dancing isn’t necessarily about how you kick or turn, it’s about how well you show yourself in your dance. This piece lets me do that. Jerome Robbins’ choreography isn’t just a performance piece; it tells the story of the character.” —Kathryn Holmes



Hairspray
hairspraythemusical.com


What You’re In For: You just can’t stop the beat of this ’60s-set, big-wigged, dance-along-in-your-seat juggernaut, now in its sixth year on Broadway. The dancing’s high-energy and character-driven, and it’s filled with references to the decade’s hottest social dances, like the Pony and the Swim. Worth noting: You’ll see a great roster of guest stars playing Edna Turnblad (at press time, the show featured “Cheers” star George Wendt!), as well as “Grease: You’re the One That I Want” runner-up Ashley Spencer as Amber Von Tussle.
Danciness Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦
Meet a Performer: ASHLEY SPENCER
Hometown: Canton, OH
Role: Amber Von Tussle
Fun Fact: Ashley’s first professional gig was as Barbie’s understudy in the national tour of Barbie Live! in Fairytopia, at age 20. “I performed every Sunday,” she says, “so my nickname was ‘Barbie Sunday.’ It sounds silly, but it was a full-blown musical with 12 songs!”
DS: What’s your favorite number in Hairspray? “‘You Can’t Stop the Beat’—even though I’m sitting in a chair for most of it! I get to watch this great cast and choreography, and then the Von Tussles join in at the end. The hardest number is my first: ‘The Nicest Kids in Town.’ It’s like being shot out of a cannon. I sprint onstage waving my arms, and there’s no turning back!” —Kathryn



In the Heights
intheheightsthemusical.com


What You’re In For: Flirty, intelligent and heartfelt, this Latino musical struts its way through Washington Heights, NY. When an unexpected lottery win turns the neighborhood upside down, the community must decide whether they will live out their old dreams or follow new ones. The choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler is a seamless blend of salsa steps, hip-hop hits, lyrical releases and classical jazz. The difficult and detailed phrases demand dancers with solid ballet, jazz, hip hop and modern training, not to mention jazz-band musicality, serene control, humor and passion. This stuff will test all your chops.
Danciness Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Meet a Performer: RICKEY TRIPP
Hometown: L.A.
Role: Ensemble
Fun Fact: Rickey went to college to become a pediatrician and studied biological sciences for two years before a friend suggested he take a hip-hop class. He soon switched his major to dance and landed a national tour of Aida after graduation. “I appreciate the body, which is why I wanted to be a doctor,” he says. “But now, I get to communicate and express my emotions with my body through dance.”
DS: What’s the best thing about dancing on Broadway? “You never know who’s in the audience. That’s so exciting. It could be someone’s first time to a Broadway show, and it’s a gift that I get to share with them. Broadway has given me a range of opportunities and exposure to different cultures. It’s unbelievable!” —Lauren Kay



Legally Blonde

legallyblondethemusical.com


What You’re In For: Based on the 2001 blockbuster hit, Legally Blonde: The Musical has just as many laugh-out-loud moments as the original. Laura Bell Bundy channels Elle Woods who—for the sake of love—chases her college sweetheart to Harvard Law School and, in the meantime, finds herself. Be prepared for lots of high-energy dancing and booty-shakin’ hip hop in this fun hit!
Danciness Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦
Meet a Performer: MICHELLE KITTRELL
Hometown: Mableton, GA
Role: Co-dance Captain, Delta Nu sorority sister, District Attorney Joyce Riley and understudy for Serena, Pilar and Brooke Wyndham
Fun Fact: “My first theater role ever was in first grade. I was cottage cheese, and I was not happy about it.”
DS: What’s the hardest thing about being on Broadway? “Definitely the schedule. People think eight shows is a lot, but in addition, everyone is at least one understudy. Also, when someone new joins the show there are more rehearsals. And being a dance captain, I rehearse extra. I go to work at 1 p.m., and I’m not done until 10:45 p.m.—five days a week! It’s a lot of upkeep.” —Brianne



The Lion King
disney.go.com/theatre/thelionking


What You’re In For: Lions and tigers and evil hyenas, oh my! The Lion King lives up to its hype, transforming the theater into an African jungle. Watch as “elephants” trot down the aisles, “giraffes” graze across the stage and “birds” fly above. The actors perform with puppets and the dancers move like graceful animals. Expect African dance in a Broadway style, creative sets and, of course, Disney magic.
Danciness Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦
Meet a Performer: MICHELLE BRUGAL
Hometown: Miami, FL
Role: Ensemble, Ant Hill Lady and Floor Dancer, ballet soloist during “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”
Fun Fact: Michelle has danced in commercials for Coca-Cola and the NFL.
DS: What’s it like to dance in this show, specifically like an animal? “There are many styles, including African, ballet, modern, even ballet—as the Ant Hill Lady, I cross the stage on pointe. Classically trained dancers (I have a BFA from the Ailey/Fordham program) can come in and feel like we’re using our skills since it’s very challenging and technical. The puppets and costumes make us not just dancers, but also actors and actresses. This broadened my horizons.” —Lauren L.



The Little Mermaid
disney.go.com/theatre/thelittlemermaid


What You’re In For: If you’re under 30, you’ve probably seen the animated movie at least once, so the real treat of this newest Disney flick–turned–Broadway show is seeing how Ariel’s magical realm under the sea comes to life onstage. As fish, mermaids, eels and other denizens of the deep, the ensemble has to navigate crazy costumes and wheeled dance shoes while gliding through complex patterns and energetic choreography. On land, there are tap-dancing seagulls, as well as a sweet pas de deux for Ariel and Prince Eric set to a new tune, “One Step Closer.”
Danciness Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦
Meet a Performer: MICHELLE LOOKADOO
Hometown: Radford, VA
Role: Ensemble roles including Adella (a Mersister), a seagull, a dancing starfish and a princess
Fun Fact: Before hitting the Great White Way, Michelle was a bunhead. She danced professionally with Richmond Ballet, Greensboro Ballet, Lexington Ballet and New Jersey Ballet—and while dancing, she also earned a degree in English from Virginia Commonwealth University.  
DS: What’s it like dancing with wheels on your shoes? “It was scary at first, because you have to put your weight back to glide and dancers aren’t used to having their weight in their heels. But I don’t even think about it now. It’s easier to glide than to walk! All the choreography is on our toes, so you have to think of dancing on really high heels. Even prepping for a pirouette, you’re on demi-pointe, because if you put your weight back, you could catch the wheel.” —Kathryn



Mamma Mia
mamma-mia.com


What You’re In For: Once upon a Greek Island, a bride-to-be searches for her father. The quest to find the man to walk her down the aisle turns into a mystery when she contacts three men from her mother’s past. The audience follows our leading lady and her mamma as they use the past to help them move into the future. Throughout this tale, the cast is in an ongoing disco dance party that will have you bouncing in your seat!
Danciness Rating: ♦ ♦
Meet a Performer: MONICA KAPOOR
Hometown: Mount Prospect, IL
Role: Ensemble
Fun Fact: “I taught physical education at a high school for two years—I wanted to be a dance teacher, but they only offered certification for gym teachers at my college, Northern Illinois University. Broadway was a distant dream until I moved to NYC and started auditioning!”
DS: What’s it like to dance in this show? “It’s mainly jazz, but there’s a lot of improv and places you can put your own twist into it; some people add hip hop, and I’ll even bust out with some African. It’s not as structured as most shows—in a good way. The audiences are amazing and it feels like a big, goofy party.” —Lauren L.



Mary Poppins

disney.go.com/theatre/marypoppins


What You’re In For: Magical nannies, dancing chimney sweeps, shrubberies come to life…you can’t deny that this show has magic. Music from the 1964 movie is joined by several new songs and a few storyline twists, including bigger roles for Mr. and Mrs. Banks and a particularly evil nanny. As for dance highlights: “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” becomes a gesture-driven tongue twister, while “Step in Time” takes tap in a whole new direction: the ceiling.
Danciness Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦
Meet a Performer: VASTHY E. MOMPOINT
Hometown: NYC
Role: Ensemble, Fannie
Fun Fact: Vasthy started dancing in junior high at the recommendation of her track coach—she hoped to improve her hurdles. “I ended up skipping track practice to take dance class!” she says.
DS: What’s your favorite number in the show? “‘Step in Time,’ hands down. There’s something about tap dancing on a Broadway stage that’s so classic. At the beginning of the number, you hear the drums, and you see the audience’s faces change. They know something exciting is about to happen. ‘Step in Time’ is also the hardest number: It’s nine minutes and there’s a part where I dance upside down on my back. You’re running around, jumping off of chimneys—and singing at the same time!” —Kathryn



Monty Python’s Spamalot
montypythonsspamalot.com


What You’re In For: Only in Spamalot—based on the cult-classic film Monty Python and the Holy Grail—does the legend of King Arthur include a killer rabbit, sexy “Laker” girls, slapstick humor, rude Frenchmen and silly songs. Casey Nicholaw’s choreography is traditional musical theater with a generous sprinkling of cheesy fun. High kicks, gestural arm phrases and folk dance partnering are featured over technical tricks. Ladies turn out everything from cheerleader jumps to showgirl walks, while the men stick to standard stage steps with a few soft-shoe tap sequences.
Danciness Rating: ♦ ♦
Meet a Performer: JENNY HILL
Hometown: Cranford, NJ
Role: Ensemble
Fun Fact: As an original cast member (three years!), Jenny has seen plenty of bloopers. For instance, the Laker Girls appear through a trap door below the stage and one day, the trap stopped halfway. “It was such a mess!” says Jenny. “The audience could hear us giggling. We had to open the trap ourselves and run up the stairs. Thankfully the show is lighthearted, so the audience was laughing with us.”
DS: What’s the hardest dance number? “The Laker Girls scene is hard because it’s actual cheering! Most of the other choreography lets you move through the dance, but in this piece, the choreography is so tight and precise. All the dancers revolve around each other, so if anyone strays, there will be accidents.” —Lauren K.

Passing Strange
passingstrangeonbroadway.com


What You’re In For: A soulful rock-and-roll musical about growing up. While the classic coming-of-age tale isn’t new, the way this cast tells it is special. Follow Youth, a young American man, as he “finds himself” in Amsterdam and Berlin. Expect fabulous music and the classic vices—sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll.
Danciness Rating:
Meet a Performer: REBECCA NAOMI JONES

Hometown: NYC
Roles: Sherry, Renata, Desi
Fun Fact: Rebecca has recorded songs for the movie albums Alvin and the Chipmunks and Sydney White.
DS: What’s it like to dance in this show? “It’s not a dance show, but we use the movement to color the kinds of people Youth meets along his way. The different ways we move show the different places he goes. For example, when we’re in L.A., we don’t move as freely as when we’re in the punk rock European scenes.” —Lauren L.

The Phantom of the Opera
thephantomoftheopera.com


What You’re In For: It’s 1911 and the popularity of the Paris Opera is at its peak, but the theater is haunted by the Phantom, a masked man in love with Christine, the opera’s newest star. With its extravagant sets and effects (they raise a chandelier from the stage up over the audience!), and the flawless operatic score, it’s easy to see why this is the longest running musical on Broadway.
Danciness Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ (If you’re in the Ballet Chorus, you’ll spend the majority of the show en pointe.)
Meet a Performer: CARLY BLAKE SEBOUHIAN
Hometown: NYC
Role: Member of the Ballet Chorus
Fun Fact: Growing up, Carly never expected her feet to grace a Broadway stage. “I studied at the School of American Ballet,” she says. “Broadway never even occurred to me—I assumed I’d be in a ballet company!”
DS: What’s your favorite thing about dancing on Broadway? “I feel really lucky to get to perform every night. As a ballet dancer, having a steady job where you know you’ll work every night is practically unheard of. You get to do what you love and get paid for it! It’s the best thing in the whole world.” —Alison



South Pacific
lct.org


What You’re In For: When this Rodgers and Hammerstein classic first hit Broadway in 1949, it brought with it a romantic wartime storyline and controversial race issues. Sounds deep, huh? But it’s a lot of fun, too! The recent revival transports you to the warm island shores. Where else can you “Wash that Man Right Out of Your Hair” while falling in love on “Some Enchanted Evening”? The show is full of cute sailor boys, beautiful scenery and a few (too few, but they’re worth it!) fun dance scenes.   
Danciness Rating:
Meet a Performer: LI JUN LI
Hometown: Shanghai, China
Role: Liat
Fun Fact: “I started dancing because I was pretty shy and I didn’t find it as intimidating as other forms of performance,” Li says. She has trained in Chinese classical dance and went to the LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts, where she learned ballet and Martha Graham Technique.
DS: What’s the most challenging scene in the show? “‘Happy Talk,’ because Liat works with barely any lines. She needs to be active the entire scene to get what she wants, which is Lt. Joseph Cable. The song is Bloody Mary’s number. I’m just a prop for her to sell to the lieutenant. Christopher Gattelli (who did the musical’s staging) and I collaborated and came up with movement that would be appropriate for the scene.” —Emily Macel



Spring Awakening
springawakening.com


What You’re In For: Bring a box of Kleenex to this sensual rock musical, based on a controversial 1891 German play by Frank Wedekind. Spring Awakening centers around a group of teenagers struggling to find themselves in a repressive society, and you’re likely to shed more than a few tears as their stories unfold. Critics are calling it the next Rent—and with Duncan Sheik’s electrifying music, Bill T. Jones’ Tony Award–winning choreography and a vibrant young cast, we have to agree!
Danciness Rating:
Meet a Performer: LILLI COOPER
Hometown: NYC
Role: Martha
Fun fact: Lilli’s been dancing since she was 5 at schools like Steps on Broadway. Now, she attends Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in NYC. Both her big brothers went there, too!
DS: What’s your advice for aspiring performers? “Take as many classes as possible, meet as many people as you can. Make connections! My dance classes and my vocal training helped me a lot. Get yourself into performances!” —Kristin Lewis



Wicked
wickedthemusical.com


What You’re In For: Set in Oz many years before Dorothy strolled into town, this musical tells the story of how the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch came into their respective roles. Be on the lookout for flying monkeys, lavish, multimillion-dollar sets and costumes, and cameos by your favorite characters from The Wizard of Oz.
Danciness Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦
Meet a Performer: CJ TYSON
Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA
Role: Ensemble, featured dancer
Fun Fact: CJ trained at Denise Wall’s Dance Energy alongside Danny Tidwell and Travis Wall, and attributes his Broadway success to Denise. “She asked what my goals were and I said I wanted to do a Broadway show. She told me to be in class every day and that if I trained as hard as I could I could be on Broadway. Now here I am!” Tyson says.
DS: What’s your favorite thing about dancing on Broadway? “If you mess up one night, there’s a redo the next night and the night after that. You get to experiment, and make your dancing look precise and clean.” —Alison


 
Xanadu
xanaduonbroadway.com


What You’re In For: It’s 1980 and Sonny Malone is just an average artist hanging in Venice Beach, CA, until one of his sidewalk chalk drawings miraculously comes to life. The Greek muse Kira (descended from Mt. Olympus with her sisters) helps Sonny realize his dream of opening the first roller disco, but when Kira (a demi-God) falls in love with a mere mortal, chaos (and lots of roller skating) ensues. Full of pop hits and based on the film.
Danciness Rating: ♦ ♦ (It’s great if you can roller skate, too!)
Meet a Performer: KYLE DEAN MASSEY
Hometown: Jonesboro, AR
Role: Thalia, ’80s singer, Cyclops, Young Danny (Kyle performs a tap solo.)
Fun Fact: “I’m fluent in pig Latin.”
DS: What’s your favorite thing about dancing on Broadway? “The level of talent you get to work with is amazing. Also, you get the recognition of being on Broadway and working in NYC! Your peers get to come see you—they don’t when you’re playing Cleveland.” —Abigail



Young Frankenstein
youngfrankensteinthemusical.com


What You’re In For: When renowned scientist Victor Frankenstein dies, his grandson, NYC-based neurologist Frederick Frankenstein (pronounced Fron-ken-steen), must return to Transylvania. There he meets Inga (his sexy lab assistant), Igor (his humped helper) and Frau Blucher (his grandfather’s girlfriend). After a fateful dream, Frederick decides to become a true Frankenstein, joining the family business and bringing a dead man (The Monster) back to life.
Danciness Rating: ♦ ♦ (The ability to tap dance in platforms is a bonus.)
Meet a Performer: SARRAH STRIMEL

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Role: Ensemble (with a featured dance solo)
Fun Fact: “I’m an obsessed Steelers fan. I’m the biggest football junkie! I like to hang with boys, eat wings and watch football. I was also a DS reader in high school!”
DS: What’s your favorite thing about dancing on Broadway? “There’s a misconception that Broadway dancers aren’t as technically trained as company dancers. Often the singing and the book are at the forefront and the dancing is to the side. But if you perform in a special production, you can bring dance to the forefront and touch the young dancers in the audience.” —Abigail


 

OFF BROADWAY

 

Altar Boyz
altarboyz.com


What You’re In For: It’s the comeback of the singing and dancing boy band in this hilarious, Christian-rock spoof. The five-member Altar Boyz—Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan and Abraham—come to you from the last leg of their national “Raise the Praise” tour and will win you over with MTV-worthy tunes like “Girl, You Make Me Wanna Wait” and “Church Rulez.”
Danciness Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Meet a Performer: RYAN STRAND
Hometown: Lafayette, IN
Role: Abraham
Fun Fact: Ryan tears up the stage in Altar Boyz and is totally convincing as a trained dancer—but he didn’t even start dancing until he went to college! A musical theater graduate of Cincinnati Conservatory for Music, Ryan says, “I wish I had started taking dance earlier! I got to college and for four years it was like one big crash course in all styles of dance.”
DS: What’s your favorite thing about dancing on Broadway? “In this show I’m out in front of everybody. I don’t have to blend in with a chorus and I can make each move and each line my own because it’s all very character-based. It’s a lot of fun to be able to work with that.” —Alison



The Awesome 80s Prom
awesome80sprom.com


What You’re In For: It’s the senior prom at Wanaget High (yeah, say that fast) for the class of 1989. From the jock to the rebel to the foreign-exchange student, all your favorite high-school archetypes are present—and vying to be crowned prom king and queen. In this interactive show, the audience actually attends the prom with the actors. In fact, patrons are encouraged to rock their best ’80s attire. All the characters dance—occasionally with audience members—and the cheerleaders and drama queen perform choreographed numbers. The final dance to “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” spoofs the finale of Dirty Dancing—overhead lift and all.
Danciness Rating: ♦ ♦
Meet a Performer: ALLISON CARTER THOMAS
Hometown: Houston
Role: Heather #1—The Cheerleader
Fun Fact: Allison trained in ballet, jazz, modern and tap in Texas. She also studied at the Joffrey Ballet School in NYC before earning her degree in sociology from Columbia University—where she danced on the Columbia University Dance Team.
DS: What’s the best part of the show? “It’s a lot of improv, so it’s fun to play off the audience. The audience makes the show.” —Kristin



Stomp
stomponline.com


What You’re In For:
Rhythm, rhythm, rhythm. These feisty dancers/drummers create the most complicated sounds out of everyday materials: brooms, newspapers, street signs—even Zippo lighters! The numbers are ridiculously high energy, physically daring and, occasionally, surprisingly funny. You’ll walk out of the theater convinced that you can make music out of anything!
Danciness Rating: ♦ ♦ (The ability to maintain a complicated rhythm is more important than great dance technique.)
Meet a Performer: LANCE LILES

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
With the Show Since: November 2007
Fun Facts: Even though Lance is primarily a tap dancer, from an early age he studied ballet, modern, jazz, African and salsa. He earned a BFA in dance (with a focus in jazz) from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and has studied with tap legends Gregory Hines, Jimmy Slyde, Chuck Green, Buster Brown, LaVaughn Robinson and Harold Cromer.
DS: What’s your favorite thing about dancing in Stomp? “It leaves the performers the freedom to express ourselves through the choreography. Tap is my love, so Stomp marries everything perfectly for me. I love the rhythm aspect and the concept—incorporating different objects and sounds. It makes the abnormal normal. Making sounds with Zippos, plungers, brooms—it’s genius! It makes the eyes listen and the ears see.” —Abigail

 

Photo: Joan Marcus

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