Theater Review: Little Dancer Enchants at the Kennedy Center

November 21, 2014 3:51 PM

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How many Broadway musicals can you name that concern themselves with the agony and ecstasy of creating art? I remember one: Sunday in the Park with George by Sondheim. And now there's a second, the Kennedy Center's Little Dancer which debuted last night. Commissioned by the Center's former president, Michael Kaiser, this seven million dollar musical evokes the glamour, backstage politics, and social underbelly of the Paris Opera Ballet, a company that expected its youngest dancers to mingle with its wealthy patrons. So along with its art motif, this show, set in 1880, becomes a soaring paean to the majesty of ballet while also revealing the price of being a dancer in the nineteenth century.

If you're seeking charming, often winsome melodies you can't get out of your head, stirring performances by the leads with fine work from the supporting cast, and a book that will intrigue and ultimately move you, run to the Kennedy Center box office. Sadly, for D.C. audiences, the show will close o...

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