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Seattle by David-Edward Hughes

Burn The Floor Sizzles at the Paramount

Also see David's review of Judy Sings Judy

Burn the Floor

The national tour of the Broadway dance revue Burn The Floor packs enough choreographic heat to warm up a chilly fall Seattle night. It is emphatically not a show that is targeted toward die-hard theatergoers, accustomed to thematic revues ala Fosse. Chock-full of dancers familiar to couch potato fans of the wildly popular "So You Think You Can Dance" series, this is a show designed to get stay at home audiences into theatre seats. As such, I can heartily recommend it.

The international cast of wildly talented and stunningly attractive dancers work their collective butts off without seeming to break a sweat or nosedive in energy, as they do indeed burn the floor with stunning steps ranging from the waltz to foxtrot, samba, rumba, lindy, jive, paso doble and tango. Director/Choreographer Jason Gilkison may not have stories to tell with his dances, but he evokes moods, and varies them with great success, and his design team, from scenic designer Ray Klausen to costume designer Janet Hine (designs based on the originals by John Van Gastel) to Peter J. Fitzgerald with an exceptional lighting design make the show look as it moves.

Highlights for me are a sinuous "Let's Face the Music and Dance," a fiery Latin Quarter sequence, the Swing section, and a Coda/Finale featuring such pop hits as "After All," "Proud Mary" and "Turn the Beat Around." Beyond the company of dancers, all of whom deserve a shout out, I was also impressed by vocalists Peter Saul and Rebecca Tapia, and the welcome live, on-stage presence of expert percussionists Joseph Malone and Henry Soriano (all the other music was canned, though expertly so).

This tight two-hour dance spectacular grew on me more and more as the evening floated by, and I am not at all the audience the show is tailored for. Burn The Floor doesn't have staying power, but like a great Chinese dinner, it satisfies your appetite for an evening, and for those "So You Think You Can Dance" fans, it may even be a kind of Nirvana.

Burn The Floor plays at Seattle's Paramount Theatre at 9th & Pine downtown, through September 19th. For tickets or information visit them online at www.stgpresents.org or www.BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com or call 877-STG-4TIX (877-784-4849).


Photo: Baytan Erkman and Joan Marcus

See the list of this season's theatre offerings in the Seattle area.



- David Edward Hughes



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