Written by Serena
Dames at Sea is a tap happy, song-tastic good time. The opening credits (old movie style) give you some hint of what to expect– a show that is as light-hearted as it is witty. With a wink and a nudge, Dames at Sea follows a silly plot which is offset by fantastic song and dance numbers. It is brilliantly pulled off by only six cast members, all of whom fit their roles to a tee.
Leslie Margherita channels her wacky personality in the role of temperamental diva, Mona Kent. If you have ever seen Lesli’s backstage vlogs for Matilda or her new series Ship Happens, this is the perfect outlet for her. Mona and Lesli are two of a kind, both are over the top and outrageously funny.
In contrast to Mona, you have sweet and naive Ruby, played by Eloise Kropp (most recently in On the Town). Ruby is an aspiring starlet who arrives in NYC with nothing but tap shoes in her suitcase. She instantly lands a role as a chorus girl on Broadway and falls in love with a sailor (and wannabe songwriter), Dick. Eloise is so delightful and fresh that you overlook how sappy her storyline is. She has a sweet voice and some kick-ass tapping skills.
Rounding out this fantastic trio is Mara Davi. She portrays Joan, a wisecracking chorus girl who takes Ruby under her wing. Mara does a superb job balancing out the overdramatic Mona and saccharine Ruby. She combines powerful tapping with a lovely voice. We spoke to Mara at the stage door, and she told us her favorite number is “Choo-Choo Honeymoon,” a cute number in which Joan puts her former boyfriend (a sailor named Lucky) in his place and tells him to put a ring on it.
Dames aside, the men of the show are equally fantastic. Cary Tedder (Dick) and Danny Gardner (Lucky) are sailors who step in to save the day when the theater is being bulldozed on opening night of a new Broadway show (Dames at Sea). They are both adorably charming in their roles, and really, who doesn’t love watching sailors tap? (I know I do!). Cary told us that it’s thrilling to be able to say the line “Broadway I’ll lick you yet” (from his number “Broadway Baby”) on a Broadway stage. The two of them were just as hilarious at the stage door as they were onstage.
Last, but certainly not least you have John Bolton who does double duty as both Hennesey (producer/manager/director of Dames at Sea) and the Captain. He is disarmingly funny and also taps up a storm with the rest of the cast.
Speaking of tapping (again), you can rest assured that Dames at Sea is in the capable hands of director/choreographer Randy Skinner. While the corny plot often toes the line, Randy manages to keep it from going overboard. His brilliant choreography is the heartbeat of the show and it is danced to perfection by a cast who has great chemistry onstage.
If you love good ‘ole fashioned musicals, this is the show for you. Dazzling costumes, great music, and dancing that will knock your socks off!
Things to keep in mind if you see Dames At Sea:
- The Helen Hayes Theater is pretty small, so although we were in the last row of the mezzanine the view was pretty good.
- All the restrooms are located in the lobby and the ladies room only has six stalls, so be prepared to wait on line.
- Don’t take the show too seriously, just enjoy the ride.