Three friends who attended with me loved it.
In fact, everyone loved it. The audience offered a standing ovation. This tribute doesn’t seem to mean as much as it used to, since just about every live performance I attend these days gets one.
I was underwhelmed by “Burn the Floor.”
The play was like Mexican food. Mexican food is undoubtedly, undeniably, unequivocally delicious, but everything is made from the same five ingredients:
2. Refried beans
5. A tortilla-like thing
These five items are combined, recombined, baked, fried, refried, mixed together, separated, poured over, smothered under and placed in between each other, creating an endless variety of appetizers, salads, entrées, side dishes, snacks, desserts and beverages. After a few meals, Mexican food is boring.
“Burn the Floor”consisted of five ingredients.
1. Young dancers. By my count, the cast had nine pairs of talented terpsichoreans, two excellent belt-it-out singers and two percussionists with attention deficit disorder. Without a doubt, all were top-notch performers.
2. High energy. Everybody in the cast was over-caffeinated. All but three or four of the evening’s two dozen dance numbers were fast, frantic, dizzying. I longed for a change of pace. There was a Viennese waltz and another slow number (“Nights in White Satin”), but I craved a few more waltzes and foxtrots, a folk dance, some modern moody stuff, maybe a few ballet things. Even the CanCan would have given the audience a chance to catch its collective breath.
3. Advanced Gymnastics. Every dance featured contortions of Olympic competition caliber. Five were favorites: the shimmy; the leg wrap (woman’s leg tightly wound around man’s hip); the Flamenco pose (one hand on hip, the other stretched overhead); the toss (man raises woman in the air either and tosses her over his shoulder or flips her to his other side so she can wrap one leg around his other hip.)
4. Black shirts. Unbuttoned, for men.
5. Fringe. Fringed skirts. Fringed dresses. Fringed capes and shirts and boots.
These five elements were mixed, separated, poured over and under each other, recombined and repeated in a variety of bright shimmery fringed fabrics. Over and over.
I shouldn’t say I was underwhelmed. Just whelmed.