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Steel Pier

Book:David Thompson
Music and Lyrics:John Kander and Fred Ebb
Director:Scott Ellis
Choreography:Susan Stroman
Sets:Tony Walton
Costumes:William Ivey Long
Lighting:Peter Kaczorowski
Sound:Tony Meola
Opened: 4/97 at the Richard Rodgers Theater
Cast: Karen Ziemba, Daniel McDonald, Debra Monk, Gregory Harrison, Joel Blum and Valerie Wright

Heroine Rita Racine is one of an aspiring crop of young hopefuls out to hot-step their way into public recognition via the desperate, honky-tonk world of marathon dancing. The production's title refers to the seaside attraction in Atlantic City where the marathons take place. Unfortunately, the show's energy lags like the last contestants as they drop to the dance floor. Monk gives the only vital performance, even if it is overdone, with the lusty “Everybody's Girl.” Even the flashiest routine, a bevy of chorines in bathing suits hoofing it on the wing of an airplane, never takes off. The production begs for negative comparisons to the hit Chicago and the classic Cabaret; indeed, like the cutthroat world of marathon dancing, only the best musicals make it to the next round. Steel Pier isn't among them.