The Verdict: See What Chicago Critics Thought of Broadway-Bound Gotta Dance

The Verdict   The Verdict: See What Chicago Critics Thought of Broadway-Bound Gotta Dance
 
Gotta Dance, a new musical based on the acclaimed 2008 documentary of the same name about professional basketball’s first-ever, aged-60-and-older dance team, officially opened Dec. 28 at Chicago's Bank of America Theatre.
Gotta Dance Screen Shot

Performances continue through Jan. 17, 2016, in Chicago. Opening on Broadway is scheduled for fall 2016.

Read reviews below. Playbill will update as more are posted:

Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago Tribune

NewscityStage.com Showbiz Chicago Variety

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The complete cast includes Stefanie Powers, Tony nominee André De Shields, five-time Emmy nominee Georgia Engel, Tony winner Lillias White, Haven Burton, Alexander Aguilar, Lori Tan Chinn, Joanna Jones, Nancy Ticotin, Madeleine Doherty, Tracy Jai Edwards, Lenora Nemetz, Jonalyn Saxer, Kay Walbye, Adinah Alexander, Sydni Beaudoin, Holly Ann Butler, Murphy Cross, Paula Castelon, Ari Groover, Colby Lewis, Lance Roberts, Elise Santora, Austin Scott III and Virginia Ann Woodruff.

Directed and choreographed by Tony winner Jerry Mitchell, the production features a book by Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin (Aladdin) and Tony Award winner Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone), original music by Tony Award nominee Matthew Sklar (Elf), lyrics by Tony Award nominee Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde) and additional music by late Tony and Oscar winner Marvin Hamlisch.

According to press notes, "From the director/choreographer of Kinky Boots comes the incredible true story of ten determined dreamers who audition to dance at half time for a major NBA team. They have three things in common: they love to dance, they have something to prove, and they are all over 60. It isn’t until they make the cut that they find out they won’t be dancing tap, salsa or swing — they are going to bring down the house with a style that’s entirely new to them: hip hop. Don’t miss this original Broadway-bound musical about a group of ordinary seniors with extraordinary dreams as they battle pain, prejudice, self-doubt and each other for a chance to bust a move at center court in front of 20,000 screaming fans."

The creative team reunites Mitchell with his Kinky Boots collaborators, including five-time Tony Award nominee David Rockwell (scenic design), Tony Award winner Gregg Barnes (costume design) and Tony Award winner Kenneth Posner (lighting design), along with Nick Kenkel (co-choreography), four-time Tony Award nominee Peter Hylenski (sound design), Tony Award winner Larry Hochman (orchestrations), Charlie Alterman (musical director) and Telsey + Company (casting).

“The real-life senior dancers at the core of Gotta Dance simply blew me away,” said producer Dori Berinstein, who also produced and directed the 2008 documentary, in an earlier statement. “With heart, soul, gusto, guts and some hot dance moves…they refused to accept ‘no’ for an answer and, instead, overcame endless obstacles and misperceptions to realize their dreams. Aside from being so very cool...they are endlessly inspiring.”

Gotta Dance celebrates the singular power of music and dance to unleash big emotions and bring people together,” added producer Bill Damaschke. “It gives me so much joy that the dream team of creative minds behind this musical adaptation crosses generations, mirroring the spirit and soul of the characters of the show. We are particularly excited to bring the show to Chicago – not only one of the nation’s preeminent breeding grounds for new theater works, but also home to some of the world’s most fervent basketball fans. Go Bulls!”

Composer Sklar completed the score after Mr. Hamlisch died in 2012.

For more information, visit BroadwayInChicago.com.

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