New York | 2h 10m | Already closed

Dames at Sea

From 42 critic and 239 member reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Delightful, Funny, Fluffy, Dated

About the show

Coming to Broadway for the first time ever and directed by three-time Tony Award-nominee Randy Skinner, this is a classic comedic celebration of the golden era of movie musicals. More…

Set in the 1930s, the satiric plot follows a struggling chorus girl, Ruby, as she steps off a bus from Utah and into her first Broadway show. But hours before the opening night curtain is to rise, the cast learns their theater is being demolished. Ruby and the cast, with the help of some adoring sailors, set a plan in motion to perform the show on a naval battleship. A tap-happy celebration of the golden era of movie musicals, the show features rollicking tap dancing, love at first sight, joyful music and a boatload of laughs.

2h 10m | Already closed | Helen Hayes Theatre (Midtown W)

Broadway Blog

"'Dames At Sea' proves that bigger (and newer) isn’t always better. This charming little show is a star bright enough to outshine some of its flashier neighbors on the Great White Way." Full Review


"The classic all talking, all dancing, all singing, all sassy pastiche of the 1930 film musicals is back and worthy of a twenty-one gun salute... The principal creative force behind this revival is Randy Skinner. He has beautifully and imaginatively recreated that delicate balance of parody and reverence that made these 'dames' such a delight originally. But he has added just enough more exuberant dancing and production values to make it now the most irresistible musical in town." Full Review


"It’s terrific with a capital T...This a good old-fashioned Broadway treat. Tits, teeth, tapping, tunes, and tight trousers – terrific." Full Review


"For lovers of the genre, 'Dames at Sea' is a delightful romp that doesn't feel like it's aged a day since 1966...Director and choreographer Randy Skinner brings the material to life as if it exploded out of an old movie...Those who regularly get goosebumps when they hear a tap shoe hit a Masonite floor will be on cloud nine for hours after the curtain comes down." Full Review


"A technicolor, tap dance-filled tribute to the movie musicals of the 1930s. It’s delightful, and it doesn’t take itself seriously for a minute...'Dames at Sea' is a small-scale musical, crammed into Broadway’s teensiest theater, but with the gumption of a mighty battleship." Full Review

USA Today

"Why bring this trifle to Broadway, for the first time, 49 years after its downtown premiere? Never mind; just check your cares and pretensions at the door of the Helen Hayes Theatre, and prepare to be thoroughly charmed...Through it all, happily, Skinner keeps everyone dancing, providing exuberant tap routines that his cast executes with joyful facility." Full Review

Drama Queen NYC

"Goofy, giddy, silly, old-fashioned fun – this show’s got tons of it. If you find it funny the the male romantic lead is named Dick, then you’ll have a good time. If you get why it’s funny that the female lead is named Ruby, then you are 'Dames at Sea‘s' target audience." Full Review

Peconic Public Broadcasting

"'Dames at Sea' is a very funny and witty diversion of a show and should be seen by anyone who just wants to spend a few hours in a theater, relax and try and remember what Broadway used to be all about. I’m still tapping my feet and that’s not easy." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"Randy Skinner's tap-happy production delivers plenty of sly amusement thanks to a ferociously talented sextet of triple threats. If this tiny show occasionally sits a little awkwardly even on a small Broadway stage, it's a small price to pay for the abundant fun on display…It's musical comedy madness accompanied by a cascade of insanely catchy songs…The inclusion of an extended dance break for nearly every number results in a certain predictability that slows down the first act a bit." Full Review


"'Dames at Sea' is not your typical tap musical. While it does pay homage to the days of Cole Porter and Fred Astaire, the show acts almost like a lighthearted parody of the musicals of that time. Full of self-aware humor and comical jabs at how sensationalized the plot is, this production acts as a refreshing, laugh-out-loud contemporary companion to the shows from the era it’s set in." Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

"'Dames at Sea' is throwback theatre...It’s got nothing on its mind other than enjoying itself at the expense of a harmless cultural shibboleth. It breaks no new ground, its score is enjoyable but not for the ages, its perpetual tap dancing can seem a bit much, and it may sometimes be too cute for its own good. But, to quote a better-known musical, if you let it entertain you, you’ll have a real good time." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"'Dames at Sea' may be incredibly limited in its scope and aims, but it does what it does smartly enough that, when it's adeptly helmed by a director and choreographer like this production's Randy Skinner, you don't really care. No, it never registers as much more than what it is...But it jumps into its daffiness with both feet, and splashes you with fun. For a mere two hours, even I can't find a way to argue with its charms." Full Review


"Those who love lots of tap dancing, old-fashioned tunes, and a touch of camp get down to the Helen Hayes Theatre on the double…These three young performers are all fine singers and remarkable dancers – you’ll gasp as they execute director Randy Skinner’s breathtaking (and breathless) choreographers – but they do lack a bit of star power…Lesli Margherita continues to steal scene after scene with her deliberately scenery-chewing and often hilarious antics." Full Review

The Huffington Post

"Skinner directs 'Dames at Sea' as well, but it is his choreography which keeps the show on its toes from beginning to end. He has stacked the deck with an ingratiating cast, including two standout performances. So there is plenty for musical comedy audiences to be happy about, especially at a time when there is nothing else on Broadway in this category." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"'Dames at Sea' reinvents one of those big-screen spectacles as a shrunken stage musical — a baby Busby Berkeley if you will — with an appealing cast of six that makes its featherweight pleasures infectious...A sweet candy morsel serving unapologetically empty calories." Full Review

Cultural Weekly

"It may not win a shelf full of Tonys or a Pulitzer Prize, but they kept me entertained for their respective two hours’ traffic...The director and cast execute cinema cliches with infectious charm...It’s as light as a soap bubble and just as lasting, sure to burst as soon as you hit the pavement outside the Helen Hayes. But while the hard-working cast keeps the bubble afloat, 'Dames' is a delight." Full Review

DC Metro Theater Arts

"For a pleasant two hour visit with a score that never even tries to be original, and with six eager and talented singers-dancers-actors, you can have a jolly time at the Helen Hayes Theatre. " Full Review


"Some grumpy reviews speculate that younger audiences may not know the source material well enough to fully appreciate what’s being satirized, deriding the material for being just empty-calorie escapism. Well, it is, but it’s as solidly built as escapism gets, and one of the rare musicals currently on display that actually sends you out happy and humming." Full Review


"Director and choreographer Randy Skinner doesn't take the show too seriously, which is a good thing. It's a cotton candy plot we've heard before…But the cast of six is tremendous, and the focus stays squarely on the thundering tap dancing, where it belongs. Plus, there are some clever moments…The show isn't a dazzler, but it's a fun, family-friendly musical that will be a holiday season crowd-pleaser. You might just find yourself tap dancing home." Full Review

The Three Tomatoes

"When choosing a Broadway show to attend, sometimes, it’s good to just pick something that is light, airy and doesn’t require any heavy lifting on the part of the audience. In other words, a romantic comedy musical. With that in mind, I recommend you set sail for 'Dames at Sea'...The plot is kind of thin, but no matter, the star of this show is the incredible tap dancing numbers showcasing awesome talent." Full Review


"‘Dames At Sea’ is a lot of fun and a tribute to the city’s inexhaustible pool of inexhaustible talent, if not actual stars…Broadway today is awash in nostalgia in the form of revivals, reboots and parodies, all done on a far larger scale and offering considerably more bang, or tap, for the buck. And good as they are, the dancers never let us forget just how hard they’re working to please us." Full Review

DC Theatre Scene

"Nearly half a century after its Off-Off Broadway debut, the Broadway version isn’t staged with exceptional ingenuity; it doesn’t have to be. The production values are ratcheted up, but not as much as the ticket prices...The biggest change on Broadway is that the show somehow no longer feels like an ironic if loving send-up of a 30’s extravaganza, but something closer to an imitation of one." Full Review


"A very streamlined theatrical experience... Presenting the story as a series of rapid, jokey moments does have its downside...In 'Dames at Sea' there's so little separation between musical routines, they acquire a rote-like quality, especially with the overload of tap-dancing, which is resolutely inserted wherever possible. ‘Dames at Sea’ is a period piece that, in its limited way, still has some life and laughs." Full Review

Entertainment Weekly

"'Dames' is a perfectly happy theatrical entry, but perhaps it has spent fifty years off Broadway for a reason: its satire does not bite so much as nibble. This production could have benefitted from a larger cast, a larger theater, or a larger reason to exist — something that turns it from nice to necessary. As this very solid production stands, it’s not particularly nautical and not particularly naughty, either." Full Review


"The new leading lady of 'Dames at Sea' is no Bernadette Peters. There’s nothing wrong with this revival that Peters, who played the role of Ruby in the original, couldn’t fix. But musical theater stars of her caliber don’t grow on trees, and although newcomer Eloise Kropp is a power tapper par excellence, she hasn’t the saucy charm of a Broadway Baby like Ruby — or the magnetic appeal of a star like Peters." Full Review

Delightful, Entertaining, Great tapping

See it if you enjoy a slight farce on the old timey musical plots. Plus tap dancing that is out of this world!

Don't see it if you don't enjoy campy, fluffy, over the top classic Broadway romance stories.

Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Great acting, Great staging

See it if The dancing in this show was incredible, and so was the cast. Lesli Margherita alone was worth it.

Don't see it if You don't like incredible dance numbers.

Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Blissfully charming

See it if You loved the old Buzby Berkley film musicals of the 30s

Don't see it if You are looking for a big splashy Broadway musical

Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Hilarious, Cliched

See it if you enjoy old fashioned comedy with amazing tap dancing, acting, and singing. It does not dissapoint.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy tap dancing, don't like cliche endings etc. Otherwise I found it to be absolutely amazing.

Delightful, Quirky, Entertaining, Refreshing, Great dancing

See it if You want a great time at the theater !

Don't see it if You want it to be exactly like the original

Delightful, Entertaining, Quirky, Refreshing, Funny

See it if You love classic musicals like 42nd Street and Anything Goes. It is for veteran theatre goers.

Don't see it if You don't like tap dancing and a lot of it.

Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting

See it if you like musicals made in the old-fashioned way with love intrigue, good story line, fabulous singing small casts

Don't see it if you want drama and not a lot of singing

Absorbing, Entertaining, Refreshing, Romantic

See it if you love tap dancing and perfect couples!

Don't see it if you don't like cliche love stories and big dances.

Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting

See it if you are a huge fan of tap dancing. It was a treat to be able to see this show.

Don't see it if simplistic shows

Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Funny

See it if So fun! If you love tap dancing and a fun score see this show!

Don't see it if Do not see this show if you do not want to enjoy yourself!

Funny, Must see, Delightful

See it if so much fun! Lesli Margherita is hilarious! Great classic musical

Don't see it if you don't like tap dancing. Many jokes are outdated and about people from the early 20th century

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Great writing

See it if you enjoy campy, fun, sweet, silliness.

Don't see it if you don't like campy, fun, sweet, silliness.

Delightful, Entertaining, Funny

See it if You enjoy great tap dancing and singing. The acting also was great.

Don't see it if You do not enjoy old-style musicals.

Ambitious, Funny, Entertaining, Enchanting, Delightful

See it if You like great tap numbers.

Don't see it if You need your musicals serious and solemn.


See it if You can appreciate a spoof of 1930's movie musicals, like those with Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell, you love tap dancing and ensemble work

Don't see it if You don't like musicals

Clever, Funny, Great writing, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if You enjoy parodies

Don't see it if You don't like parodies and want original classical musicals

Funny, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if You love old fashioned shows

Don't see it if You dont like dancing

Delightful, Romantic, Hilarious

See it if You love shows with a lot of dance, a little bit of satire, and a wonderful cast!

Don't see it if If you can't deal with dance heavy shows, or you hate tap dancing

Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Masterful, Refreshing

See it if you're looking for an lighthearted, old-fashioned Hollywood-style musical with tap dancing. Very talented cast is there to entertain you.

Don't see it if you like a huge cast and big flashy musicals; you are looking for a deep meaningful play; simple and predictable plays are not your thing.

Clever, Funny, Great acting, Delightful, Hilarious

See it if you love tap and you love to laugh.

Don't see it if you don't like to laugh

Enchanting, Funny, Refreshing, Clever, Delightful

See it if You love tap dancing and the classic 1940's type musical.

Don't see it if You hate dancing and a light and airy show.

Delightful, Entertaining, Great tapping

See it if You love classic musical theater and lots of tap dancing.

Don't see it if you're looking for drama.

Clever, Funny, Great acting, Entertaining, Great dancing

See it if you want to see a classic musical that is an old school musical.

Don't see it if you don't want to be entertained.

Clever, Hilarious, Intelligent, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you love presentational theatre, amazing tap dancing, and farcical theatre.

Don't see it if You don't want a quick, entertaining night at the theatre where you'll laugh and see some incredible dancing.

Delightful, Funny, Fluffy, Quirky, Great dancing

See it if You like tap dancing and just want to have a good time. Or if you're a fan (as you should be) of Lesli Margherita.

Don't see it if You don't like tap dancing, or are looking for something deep and thought-provoking.

Cast & Creatives (21)