Closed 2h 10m
Dames at Sea
Midtown W
78

Dames at Sea NYC Reviews and Tickets

78%
(240 Reviews)
Positive
81%
Mixed
15%
Negative
4%
Members say
Entertaining, Delightful, Funny, Dated, Fluffy

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.

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Member Reviews (240)

70
Tap, tap, and more tap, Silly, Flat production, Clever, Wrong venue

See it if you love tap dancing, otherwise skip it. I love DAS, but prodn disappointed. Ruby wasn't strong. Theater was too big. References outdated.

Don't see it if you want a big Bway show. Not worthy of ticket prices. It would've been better OB or OOB. Some strong performances. Clever script/songs. Read more

74
Cute, Disappointing, Fluffy, Funny

See it if You enjoy Broadway send-ups. You want to be entertained. You want to see very talented performers.

Don't see it if You want great music. You dislike satire. You want a more substantial plot.

Critic Reviews (42)

October 22nd, 2015

"The way the book merrily hopscotches from cliché to cliché can still raise smiles. But 'Dames' ultimately founders on our familiarity, not with the genre it plays with like a cat’s toy, but with the long history, since its creation, of similar simulations of old-school entertainments. Even housed in Broadway’s smallest theater, this miniature musical, with a cast you could fit in a dinghy, seems just a little, well, at sea."
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October 22nd, 2015

"It lands like a harmless piece of wet fluff. The first 20 minutes of wide-eyed antics are cute; then your mind starts to wander. 'Dames at Sea's' mild pastiche is passable but passé—imagine a revival, half a century from now, of a Fringe show about the ’80s—and it’s presented with tongue so far in cheek that it can’t say much at all."
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October 22nd, 2015

"Instead of sticking close to the presentational style of Busby Berkeley spectaculars, 'Dames' literally belittled itself, making do with a cast of six and an orchestra of three on a stage barely big enough to contain Bernadette Peters. It would seem to be a category error to bring material so conceived to Broadway, and the production that just opened at the Helen Hayes, much as you root for it, fails to argue otherwise."
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October 22nd, 2015

"'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."
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October 22nd, 2015

"'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."
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October 22nd, 2015

"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."
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October 22nd, 2015

"What’s not to like? Nothing whatsoever—but there isn’t enough to love about 'Dames at Sea,' which may have seemed sufficiently witty a half-century ago but has long since been outclassed by the encyclopedically knowing musical-comedy spoofery of 'The Drowsy Chaperone.' Compared with that big-brain homage, 'Dames' isn’t much more clever than a college show, and its parodies steer too close to their models to be other than mildly amusing."
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October 22nd, 2015

"‘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."
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October 22nd, 2015

"'Dames at Sea' is a mid-1960s musical trifle that works overtime to be cheeky good fun. Thanks to a cast with twinkle-toes and polished pipes, it succeeds — for a while. Before long, though, monotony sets in and won’t go away. Even top-notch tap-dancing can get repetitive...'Dames' doesn’t make a big splash or sink. It treads water."
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October 22nd, 2015

"Staged by director-choreographer Randy Skinner with lots of pep but little personality, the hardworking six-member cast tries to overcome the lackluster material by aggressively playing up the campiness, to the point of relentless irritation. It ultimately comes off like a low-rent, manic production of '42nd Street,' which by comparison had spectacular production values and contained the actual songs that 'Dames' tries so hard to mimic."
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October 23rd, 2015

"If you enjoy the glitzy, silly movie musicals of Busby Berkley you will see what the creators of 'Dames at Sea' were up to back in 1966 - spoofing backstage classics such as '42nd Street.'...'Dames at Sea' offers a few nostalgic chuckles, but it’s hard to see what it’s doing on Broadway...This cute retro trifle seems a bit at sea."
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October 22nd, 2015

"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."
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October 23rd, 2015

"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."
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October 22nd, 2015

"'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."
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October 29th, 2015

"This well presented but overblown production is misguided and relatively tiresome... By jettisoning the original light production values that delighted critics and audiences at the time this 'Dames at Sea' sinks under the weight of its contemporary trappings."
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October 20th, 2015

"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."
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October 31st, 2015

"Deconstruct a Busby Berkeley movie musical and you have the loose two hours of light-heartedness that is 'Dames at Sea.' In this spoof of old Broadway, a dedicated cast of six top notch hoofers fight the good fight; tapping, belting and mugging their way through a book that ranges from predictable to corny to borderline misogynistic. Tomatoes, here, are not the kind that grow on vines, but there’s a lot of squeezing going on nonetheless."
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October 23rd, 2015

"'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."
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November 17th, 2015

"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."
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October 27th, 2015

"'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."
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October 22nd, 2015

"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."
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October 22nd, 2015

"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."
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October 22nd, 2015

"It’s not fun to feel superior to such material; it’s numbing. As for Jim Wise’s score, quick: Hum a tune from this nearly 50-year-old musical. The repetition of the music is in a contest only with the repetition of the Dick jokes...Given a full-scale Broadway set here, we only notice that a couple dozen chorus girls failed to show up."
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October 29th, 2015

"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."
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November 11th, 2015

"This production has as much excitement as one of those national tours that's been on the road for a long time. The underlying concept for this production seems somewhat unmoored. Its references to the musicals of the 1930s are unlikely to strike a chord...And people who like their musicals light on their feet can find more satisfying fixes in 'Aladdin' and 'American in Paris'...This production has missed the boat.'
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October 22nd, 2015

"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."
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October 22nd, 2015

"The production, directed and choreographed by Randy Skinner, has a hard-tapping, hardworking cast of six and enough varieties of I-love-to-dance smiles to become their own emoticons. What the musical does not have - in addition to a breakout ingénue to elevate the unrelentingly, cheerfully lame nonsense - is charm. This is, to put it gently, a one-joke show. And we get the joke over and over the tap-happy two hours."
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October 23rd, 2015

"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."
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October 22nd, 2015

"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."
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October 30th, 2015

"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. "
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November 4th, 2015

"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."
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October 22nd, 2015

"'Dames at Sea' is pitched at those sitting in the balcony of the theater across the street. The frantic pacing never allows us develop even the slightest emotional connection to the characters, and the brassy, cutesy songs soon start to blur together...A little of this elbowing-in-the-ribs goes an awfully long way. There's a fine line between cute and cloying, and 'Dames' isn't even close to being on the right side of that line."
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October 23rd, 2015

"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."
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October 29th, 2015

"Some shows were written and designed on a small scale, and that’s where they flourish best. Just because they were charming in some far-off era Off Broadway doesn’t give them an automatic pass to come to Broadway. Word to the wise: Not all shows are meant to be transferred... As for 'Dames at Sea,' it may have a rough time staying afloat on the Great White Way."
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October 22nd, 2015

"It's taken almost half a century for 'Dames' to come to Broadway. There really was no rush. This insubstantial musical, which sits awkwardly between celebration and parody, opened like a riff off a long-forgotten joke. 'Dames' is supposed to be a fizzy celebration of Busby Berkeley films but comes across more like a warmed-over, sweaty cabaret act. It's not funny enough to be satire and yet too earnest to be believed."
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October 30th, 2015

"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."
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October 22nd, 2015

"It’s terrific with a capital T...This a good old-fashioned Broadway treat. Tits, teeth, tapping, tunes, and tight trousers – terrific."
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October 26th, 2015

"'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."
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October 23rd, 2015

“This revival makes the most of the source material, but we're not sure why it was done in the first place. The plot is purposefully ridiculous and the book has not been updated at all, which it strongly needs. The songs are serviceable but far from timeless or iconic...There is some great tap dancing in the show. Overall, though, this was a pretty unremarkable show."
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October 27th, 2015

"'Dames at Sea' isn't big enough — or good enough — to command a Broadway stage, even at the diminutive Helen Hayes. The material it satirizes is so superior, and now so readily available in the digital universe, that this revival has no reason to exist...Director Randy Skinner does his best with thin material...The pleasures of this production are primarily visual."
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November 7th, 2015

"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."
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November 19th, 2015

"'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."
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