British producer David King’s Dancing Queen is an all singing, all dancing ABBA tribute show that delivers all of that group’s 70’s nostalgia, complete with bling-y flared jumpsuits, hot pants, and vinyl boots. And that’s just the first five minutes.
A quartet of singers, plus four male and six female dancers undergoes several eye-catching costume changes during the seventy-minute, high energy show that takes place each night (dark Mondays) inside New York New York’s Broadway Theater. The intimate venue seats just over 200; those situated in the first row can actually feel the breeze from the many twirls and high kicks.
Opening with the show’s namesake song, the vocalists follow-up with enthusiastic versions of Mamma Mia and Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight). The small stage accommodates from one to fourteen performers at various times in the production. Yes, there are laser lights; yes, there is a fog machine. There is not, however, a disco ball. It’s not missed with all of the glitter-in-motion on the stage.
ABBA music accounts for the first twenty minutes and includes a disco-beat enhanced Fernando. That is followed by a medley of ‘70’s music featuring hits like the Bee Gees’ Stayin’ Alive and Rose Royce’s Car Wash. Motown gets its due with cast renditions of Dancin’ in the Streets, My Girl, and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. Don’t think you’re going to get away YMCA-free either. Male members of the cast sing it, dress it, and dance it in a campy, wink-nod number with an over abundance of swish and swagger.
There is also the classic John Travolta point-to-the-sky dance move that even the female cast members emulate. A couple of the tunes like Flash Dance (What a Feeling) and Celebrate! were actually 80’s hits, but fit the spirit of the show for exuberance.
And speaking of spirit, the cast of Dancing Queen also populates the Broadway Theater’s 2:00 matinee, Spirit of the Dance for a foot-tappin’, arms-at-sides dance show done the Irish way. The versatile cast moves musically from Ireland to Sweden twice a day, and producer King would have it no other way.
It was King who transformed the former ROK nightclub into the Broadway Theater, keeping the long bar lining one wall, but filling the venue with rows of seats instead of cocktail tables. There are no programs and no stars in the cast, just singers and dancers who bring the disco era back in all of its platform and rayon decadence for an hour to a nostalgic crowd. Show tickets are discounted for locals with a Nevada ID.
The audience is yanked to its feet by a Waterloo encore followed by a medley of every ABBA song that has been sung before it, just in case we had forgotten what we’d just heard.
Not a chance.