What is Dancing in Dark Skin?

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Waitress- Brooks Atkinson Theatre

The longest line I waited in to enter a theatre was for Waitress, the line went up the street and around the block. I had no idea this musical was so popular. However, I could still count the number of black people in attendance on one hand.

The marketing for this show was A1. When I entered the theatre it smelled like pie, sweet sweet pie. I wanted to lick the air, it smelled so good. On top of the smell they were selling little pies of different flavors in jars! They were expensive, like everything in the theatre so I did not get a taste. However, the “real” pies that were in the show looked crazy delicious.

Jessie Muller, Keala Settle and Kimiko Glenn stole the show, this was their show. I loved the music, watching the band play onstage and have subtle interactions in the story was very enjoyable. I could not understand some of the lyrics but that tends to happen with a live musical. There were props, props, props galore and amazing coordination from the performers. They had the sugar and the butter and all the pie ingredients.

I have not seen the movie Waitress but I knew where the story was going. This musicals made me want to see the movie because it was a nice comedy. I was still in tears by the end because I am a sucker for a happy ending and also for cute kids on stage.

Chicago The Musical- Ambassador Theatre

The classic, Chicago was at the top of my list for musicals to see on Broadway. I have been a longtime fan of the film and “Cell Block Tango” is a number I’ve seen remade a couple of times, once at a Vagina Monologue show and another done by all guys at Interlochen Fine Arts camp. But nothing compares to the smoothness of the Broadway cast coolness. What I enjoyed most were the songs that I didn’t know, like “Class” but then I found the deleted scene from the movie on youtube.

The opening number, “All That Jazz” was performed calm, cool and collective. Fosse flair was in the air. The movements were small and mighty. The costumes were everything sexy. All black everything, classic, with jewels, beads, and feather (the props popped).

This mature cast delivered on storytelling and comedic timing. Amra-Faye Wright (Velma) and Charlotte d’Amboise (Roxie) are #broadwaygoals, they hit their grand battements and splits just as well as I can and played their characters with such familiarity. Jaime Camil from Jane the Virgin played Billy Flyn, a role I didn’t really care that much for even in the film but I enjoyed the latin flair he added. I just always felt like this was a women driven story so men get out of the way.

Side bare for Glee fans: For the first time I realized the song Kurt Hummel sang in episode 1 season 1 for his audition for the Glee Club was “Mr. Cellophane” from Chicago, duh.

I had the chance to see this show from two different viewing perspectives. For the first act my mother and I were sitting on the far end of the orchestra in the 7th row, right by the exit, so we could not see stage left at all. My mother found the house manager during intermission and there were open seats available in the center balcony, so we moved and could see the entire stage.. who knew there were people sitting over on stage left this whole time.

If you can’t see the stage production see the movie and escape to the late 1920’s for death, drama, and dance.