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Stairway to Stardom

From 8 critic and 10 member reviews
Members say: Clever, Insipid, Absorbing, Funny, Disappointing

About the show

With crackling wit and startling honesty, the all-female theater collective Cakeface serves up a silver-sequined dissection of the American Dream. More…

Synthesizing razor-sharp choreography and a poker-faced delivery of original text, the cast shatters the facade of "making it." Featuring live-mixed sound and visuals from electronic duo Prism House, plus clips from the '80s cult public access TV show of the same name, 'Stairway to Stardom' honors the contributions of the wildly passionate but questionably talented among us.

Stage Buddy

"The brilliance of this piece of dance-theatre is that the dignity of each of the participants of the original 'Stairway to Stardom' is lovingly maintained, all while the deadpan delivery of the text is flawlessly executed...It reminds us of the absurdity of the superstars we live with. That these celebrities do not resonate with us, but that Amanda Szeglowski’s stories do, provides a compelling counterpoint that allows the work to succeed on many, many levels." Full Review

Washington Square News

“A unique experience of self-discovery and the pursuit of one’s dreams in life…This is a theater experience that breaks the mold, in all the best ways…Fractions of conversations pair beautifully with dance breaks that pay homage to classic shows about fame...Hilarious story lines are amplified by the lack of emotion on the faces and in the voices of the cast as the script delves into the turmoils of pursuing one’s dream.” Full Review

Time Out New York

"Absorbing and suggestive, this droll dance-theater piece is less campy and more disciplined than one might expect, using echoes and shadows of the TV show as background for a more general inquiry into showbiz aspiration and mundanity...The piece weds sharp synchronized choreography, partly inspired by moves from the series, to equally tight deadpan delivery of modern, interview-based textual fragments." Full Review

Village Voice

“In no way does Szeglowski feed into the ironic attitude that has led to the show’s cult following on the internet, but she does use the premise as a tool to discuss the ongoing temptation of stardom…Szeglowski’s cast members, for their part, are nothing but talented, and are capable of getting into the minds of their audience with bitterly truthful life stories. Even better, they make you laugh along the way.” Full Review

Eye on Dance

"The monotonous deadpan delivery, syncopated by robotic stuttering, makes changes in syntax incredibly potent in denoting a new individual answering, as the content itself is strictly maintained from its original verbal answer, including mistakes in grammar, stalling words, and candid political incorrectness...In accompaniment to the text, postures and facings change on operative words without imposing subtext, while functionally generating a pulse that facilitates crystalline delivery." Full Review

The Dance Enthusiast

"Although inspired by a TV show, 'Stairway to Stardom' gives us more than the standard fare of selling one’s soul for stardom. While the robotic execution can feel monotonous, the cast’s commitment is admirable, their talent evident. Entertaining and funny, Szeglowski gives us a space to laugh at the classic catastrophe of being an artist, perhaps, to keep from crying." Full Review

The New York Times

"The hourlong piece certainly looks striking...The plotless evening tends to meander, especially since Ms. Szeglowski’s choreography gets repetitive after a while, leaving the idle mind free to ponder: What is the show trying to say?...What’s missing from the show is what made its TV inspiration so endearing: un-self-conscious hope." Full Review


“The five women strut about, mostly in unison, striking sexy poses and performing movements that even the Rockettes would consider clichéd. While moving they singly or in unison recite histories in first person, all the while slinking into sexy poses or high stepping about. The stories are so universally dreary that whatever wit and humor existed in the text is dissipated into the whiteness of the set.” Full Review

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great writing, Must see, Thought-provoking

See it if You like thoughtful, contemporary works combining music and dance with witty, emotional text and great costumes and sets.

Don't see it if You ONLY like traditional Broadway musicals. Or if you're hoping to see a simple spoof of the original cult tv show.

Spend it at fairway

See it if five women whining for under an hour is considered value for you. Fabulous set and costumes made show seem a mere empty shell.

Don't see it if Show started twenty minutes late due to technical difficulties. Hot lobby. Audience stood as seating is unreserved. Simply not recommended.

Also Ladies look fantastic. They move quite well, even if the choreography ... Read more Read less

Banal, Cliched, Insipid, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if You don't mind general audience swatting where more than half of the seats are reserved by name to see a mediocre performance

Don't see it if If you have an opportunity to watch tv

Excruciating, Fluffy, Insipid, Disappointing, Banal

See it if Can sit through an excruciating hour to watch 5 women in fantastic sexy costumes cat walkin the stage vomiting loose words.

Don't see it if The author forgot to write a play and u r expecting great acting, writing and dancing.

Also As appealing as it visually it looks the videos and stage pics, theres... Read more Read less

Excruciating, Insipid, Overrated, Disappointing

See it if Visually very striking. Great moments of fun. Overall though one cannot help but wonder "what is the point?"

Don't see it if I don't know what the show was about. And not because it was clever, but the opposite.

Absorbing, Clever, Funny, Intelligent, Must see

See it if You want to watch amazing choreography, laugh at hilarious stories about making it and watch great performing.

Don't see it if You don't like to have a good time and see a beautiful thought provoking show.

Entertaining, Clever, Edgy, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if you've ever had a bad job... you've regretted a decision... you like thought provoking dialogue.

Don't see it if you are not in the mood to laugh and be entertained.

Clever, Great writing, Hilarious, Great staging, Delightful

See it if You enjoy laughing. You are a millennial who has had about 13 bad jobs. You enjoy well-crafted witty dance theater with LOTS of sparkle.

Don't see it if You're looking for something dark and moody and emotional.

Also These women deliver deadpan hilarity whilst dancing covered in silver ... Read more Read less

Funny, Intelligent, Engaging

See it if You enjoy quick-wit that makes you unexpectedly laugh out loud. You're stoked to see an all-female cast. Glitter costumes make you smile

Don't see it if You can't relate to verbalizing your hopes and dreams.

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Refreshing

See it if You want to understand what goes through the mind of 20 somethings as they enter the job market. See if you want a lot of chuckles.

Don't see it if You are likely to have a heart attack from the amazing costumes

Cast & Creatives (14)