Originally reviewed for GaySocialites.com.
First things first: Burn the Floor features several, extended, lusciously gratuitous displays of male flesh. Tight, mostly European dancer flesh. That, and a couple of hours of always energetic—and occasionally stunning—dancing, makes it worth seeing as hot summertime fun.
Just fun, not anything deep, or anything particularly sophisticated. First conceived as a special performance at Sir Elton John’s 50th birthday celebration in 1997, the show has been touring the world for 10 years.
So this first show of the new Broadway season is similar to the show that opened Broadway’s last season (Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy): It’s part of a successful stage franchise that is looking for nothing more than the words “direct from Broadway” to spruce up their tour brochures. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! And it bears saying that Burn the Floor does “ballroom” a good sight better than Cirque Dreams did “circus.”
Jason Gilkison’s choreography, as well as the show’s entire cast, comes from the world of dancesport, and Burn the Floor is nothing more or less than an evening length celebration of Ballroom dance. If you are, as I am, a bemused but appreciative fan of dancesport, there’s a lot of pleasure to be had seeing these hot, razor-precise moves performed for the simple love of doing them (and, okay, a pay check), not in competition.
I was underwhelmed by singer Rebecca Tapia; she has a great voice but sings every song the same way. She’s good for “History Repeating” but not so much for the bluesier numbers. Her limited stylistic range is especially obvious in contrast to the show’s versatile “boy singer,” the supple-voiced Ricky Rojas. A few of Janet Hines’s costumes even approach elegance, and even the showiest dress avoids the terrifying garishness of some outfits seen in competition.
But high art it ain’t—it’s like a sexy, cheesy, athletic, ever-so-slightly tacky guy: you might be a little bit embarrassed, but you’ll definitely have a good time.
For tickets, click here.