Broadway in Chicago, in order to bring us an assortment of entertainment, has added something unusual to its season- a sort of “Dancing with the Stars”/”So You Think You Can Dance”, live, on stage show where the audience gets to select the winner- NOW!. Television talent shows have become part of our lives. People wait for the weekly results. Who will go? Who will stay?. In this two hour plus “live” show, hosted by Alan Thicke, we get to watch five pairs of dancers compete for a trophy. From what I can tell there is no other prize, but since this is a show where tickets are sold, I am assuming these talented dancers (all professionals) are compensated for their work.
Here is how the evening begins. We are in our seats at the Cadillac Palace Theatre and see that on the back of the seat in front of us, there is a small electronic device, a sort of mini calculator. This will be where we cast our votes after we witness our five couples do , first free form in the first act and then contemporary dance in act two (here we see Salsa, Samba, Waltz, Cha-Cha and Tango. Between each of the competitive dances we also are entertained by a highly talented ensemble of ten dancers who could easily compete at some level with the dancers on stage.
In this entrancing evening of dance, there are also three judges, although they are just there for opinions as it is the audience that pushed the buttons to proclaim the trophy winner. They are here for two nights, and I would imagine the winner could easily change. One of the judges is Oscar Orasco, who is an amazing dancer/choreographer and who spends as much tome on the dance floor as at his Judge seat. If one were to analyze this show, it might appears that he is the reason the show exists as it certainly showcases his talent.
This brings me to my major question. Why does this show exist? To bring more of what we see on TV to a live audience in a major city. Is this just a test for whether a local television dance show could be produced. after all, we have a lot of talent in our city. Why not bring it to the forefront and have a local station broadcast it live. Audiences love to watch thrilling and energetic dance numbers. The audience in tonight’s performance went wild during the numbers ans while the talk portion of the evening was weak, and Thicke probably not the best host, it was a highly enjoyable evening. I would suggest that the show be pared down to either a 100 minute show (making it feel more like a TV special) or perhaps two 45 minute halves cutting out some of the in-between stuff. There were times that it started to drag and that does not feel right in a dance show.
It is here on November 2nd as well and then who knows? Tickets range from $21-$80 and can be purchased at the Cadillac Palace Theatre box office located at 124 West Randolph Street, at any of the other Broadway In Chicago box offices, by phone at the Broadway Ticketline at 800 775-2000 or online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com where you can also find parking information. Ticketmaster outlets are another source. To learn more about the show and where it might go next, visit www.DancingProsLive.com
To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-up and click at “Dancing Pros: Live”