* From Michael Kuchwara, Associated Press: The romance is played off against the ordeals on a dance floor filled with a terrific collection of dancers. They spin, swirl and finally stagger through Stroman's inventive and exhausting choreography. Debra Monk, as an older, but still game, contestant, pretty much walks off with all the evening's laughs. Monk gets the evening's funniest song, "Everybody's Girl," a tribute to her character's moral pliability. These supporting characters underscore the desperation of the marathon itself. The dancers drop one by one. Only the most grimly single-minded, including one young lady with the unlikely name of Precious, survive. The fine Kander and Ebb songs are firmly rooted in the 1930s. Many of their efforts are snappy, up-tempo compositions one can imagine hearing on the radio of the day. Particularly effective is the fly boy's "Second Chance," a jaunty number that has eerie repercussions before the curtain falls.
* From Linda Winer, Newsday: Someone finally made a show for Karen Ziemba and are we finally glad. That this someone happened to be John Kander and Fred Ebb (Cabaret, Chicago) has guaranteed a solid professional fit. But that Susan Stroman (Crazy for You) was her choreographer has made Steel Pier, which opened last night at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, Broadway's most satisfying new dance-driven musical since the golden years of Michael Bennett, Bob Fosse and Jerome Robbins.