The Wick’s ‘DANCING FEET’ is a Dazzling Tribute to Musical Theatre and Dance

There’s no business like show business – especially when the show envelopes you in a floor-to-ceiling, multi-screen Immersive Experience highlighting the greatest musical dance numbers of all time. The Wick Theatre and Museum Club of Boca Raton is now offering summer specials of their latest spellbinding and highly informative romp through musical history called DANCING FEET: The Experience. Held at the luxuriously appointed Museum Club section of the theater complex, the 360-degree video projection installation is complemented by what only Marilynn Wick – owner of Costume World, the nation’s largest theatrical wardrobe collection – can provide: original outfits worn by star dancers on Broadway.

“Dancing Feet” celebrates the art of dance in musicals through the ages, with a focus on everyone’s favorite salute to Broadway, “42nd Street.” As a special bonus, we’re treated to recorded live “insider” reminiscences by the Tony-award-winning hit’s original star, Lee Roy Reams (in the role of Billy Lawlor), who’d appeared in person at their opening night last fall. But now, during the summer break – before next season’s impressive lineup of mainstage musicals begin in October – you can enjoy the Immersive Experience with a select choice of add-ons. The Wick is offering special group and educator rates, their famous three-course luncheons or dinners (created fresh by their chef in the adjacent kitchen), followed by an optional live cabaret performance.

Whichever configuration you choose, you can be assured of a very special day or evening knowing that the “Dancing Feet” Experience has been fully vetted and approved by company founder and executive producer Marilynn A. Wick, and curated by vice president and associate producer Kimberly Wick – the illustrious mother-daughter team who have the magic touch when it comes to pleasing audiences. For their uniquely designed immersive productions, they’ve also recruited an expert team of videographers, projectionists, and sound and lighting engineers.

A family of creative geniuses. Marilynn Wick is joined by daughters Kimberly (left) and Kelly (right) as they celebrate the opening of their latest Museum Club immersive experience production, DANCING FEET: The Experience. Photo by Amy Pasquantonio.

I attended a Thursday, 10:30 am “Dancing Feet” presentation, along with two bus-loads of enthusiastic Parkland residents (about 80 people, in a room that comfortably seats up to 125). I came a bit early, so was able to enjoy perusing the show’s accompanying photo exhibition in their absolutely lovely and classy reception/bar area.

As the buses arrived, glitzy-suited event coordinator Mark Balli welcomed everyone as he ushered the group into the impressive “experience” theater room, where round tables were dressed in crisp white tablecloths and black cloth napkins. Here every seat is “front row” as you’re surrounded by looming screens on all four sides and each corner (with some extras in back) exhibits mannequins dressed in original costumes from classic Broadway musicals. I happened to sit beneath a striking “La Cage” pink-winged number. I also got to enjoy Cole Porter’s “Can-Can” dresses, “Beauty and the Beast” costumes, “A Chorus Line” outfits from opening night (all but the hats which had been gifted to the actors), originals from “Showboat,” “Guys and Dolls,” “Cats,” and so much more. While onscreen, dancing giants like the incomparable Ann Miller once again tap danced her way into our hearts.

After the show, Mark shone a spotlight on each costume while asking us to guess its origin, then added a little story about its fortuitous acquisition. But during his introduction, he also let us know that Marilynn Wick, herself, would be meeting us afterwards for a talk and backstage tour of the entire facility. Hearing her unique life experience, infused with theater history, personal drama and amusing anecdotes – all told with theatrical flair, of course – was absolutely fascinating. What a special treat!

In recognition of Florida’s heat, as we took our seats, each place setting held a welcome bottle of Wick-labeled water. Even better, we were quickly served a large scoop of lemon sorbet above fresh watermelon slices, the ideal pre-show refresher.

The show starts slowly with one and then a few more visuals till we’re surrounded by active street scenes around 42nd and Broadway, set to music from the 1980 Tony-award winner for Best Musical and Best Choreography, “42nd Street.” I’m sure many former New Yorkers will look upon these cityscapes with great nostalgia. But we’re reminded that The Great White Way theater district of the time also harbored a dangerous underworld.

Museum Club visitors enjoy up-close, panoramic views of the world’s most famous dancers at the The Wick’s latest immersive show, DANCING FEET: The Experience. Now playing, with seasonal specials, throughout the summer. Photo by Amy Pasquantonio.

And while it’s mentioned that NYC was a theater hub as far back as the 1700s, we land in 1933 when America was just coming out of The Great Depression and 14-year Prohibition and groundbreaking choreographer Busby Berkeley produced five hit musical films in a row for Warner Brothers, including “42nd Street.” And suddenly we are surrounded by the film’s iconic dance numbers.

Our historical musical theater education includes both mesmerizing visuals and fascinating facts. Like the first music-and-dance production of this uniquely American art form was “The Black Crook,” which opened in New York in 1866. We move forward with examples of famous Ziegfeld Follies and Ziegfeld-produced “Showboat,” which first married spectacle with serious drama. “Oklahoma,” noted for its Dream Ballet sequence, was first to utilize both lyrics and dance to perpetuate the plot. I’m just mentioning a few highlights, but it’s soooo much better when you are surrounded by active dance numbers and music. What’s especially wonderful about dance in musicals is the fact that it can incorporate every form of dance – both past and present – including ballet, jazz, tap, and modern dance.

Bob Fosse’s jazz hands and original moves are on full display, as are the incomparable fleet-footed dance steps of Fred Astaire and his sister, Adele, starting in 1917. Growing up on Fred Astaire movies where he starred with Ginger Rogers and many others, I had no idea he went that far back! During the show, we got to enjoy historic clips of the incomparable Astaire with many of his leading ladies. As well as the only existing film footage of modern dance pioneer, Isadora Duncan.

Iconic Broadway show dresses are an integral part of any Immersive Experience at The Wick’s Museum Club, whose Costume World division boasts the nation’s largest collection of musical theater originals. Photo by Amy Pasquantonio.

At show’s end, there’s the typical, fast-rolling reel of production credits, but I did recognize some names from The Wick’s initial immersive experience, “Ascot” which I was lucky enough to review when it first debuted, about two years ago. I was glad to catch the name of this production’s superb narrator, whose voice reminded me of a classically trained leading lady of stage and screen. And was then thrilled to discover she was none other than our very own, locally acclaimed musical superstar Angie Radosh! Who’d but recently starred as Dolly in LPAC’s “Hello Dolly,” and in POW’s world premiere of “One More Yesterday.” I’m looking forward to seeing her soon in “A Shonda, The Musical,” another POW premiere.

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Marilynn Wick is a presence like no other, whose Costume World origin story – along with the company’s outrageous auction bidding gambit, and last minute “angel” investor saves – make for ripe musical drama material of its own. I’m putting the word out here: any takers? No matter the perceived risk, when it comes to The Wicks, any venture they’re involved in is bound to be a smashing success!

After stepping into the adjacent “Hat Room” to enjoy even more mannequins decked out in original costumes from memorable Broadway musicals (along with some historic posters), we were escorted through back-door tech areas till we landed on the stage itself, looking out to where we sit as an audience in the just-right, mid-sized auditorium. And were riveted by Marilynn’s tale of how her costume empire began with the sewing of five Santa suits for a project at her kids’ school.

Demand grew, she sewed more costumes, but at the time, never dreamed her passion for theater and costume design would result in owning seven large costume houses throughout the US, including Costume World’s main location off Copans Road in Pompano Beach. The 42,000-square-foot warehouse is filled to the brim with Broadway originals and carefully crafted duplicates designed for rental to theater companies when historic originals have become too fragile and irreplaceable.

The Wick owns three sets of “42nd Street” wardrobes: original Broadway, touring, and revival. They also own original props like those famous “dime” stands which were on display from Paramount’s 1940 musical, “Dancing on a Dime.” During our immersive musical overview, we not only got to appreciate a video of the dance segment, we could actually see the blown-up dime structures they danced on in one nook of the viewing space, with more in the Hat Room.

Everyone is immediately impressed when entering The Wick’s sumptuous theater lobby with its huge crystal chandeliers, but unless you reserve a pre- or post-show meal at the adjoining The Tavern, you only get a peek at the lovely floral mural and exquisite appointments behind the velvet rope. We got to see it all, and learned that just like preserving iconic costumes, the accoutrements of  “The Tavern” restaurant were actually rescued from New York City’s celebrity-favored Tavern on the Green. Furnishings, service-ware, and the set of three large chandeliers that sparkled from the ceiling are all original pieces from the landmark Central Park restaurant. (Which I admit I could never afford to attend as a young New Yorker, but maybe now’s my chance!)

There’s so much to see and enjoy at the ever-expanding The Wick Theatre and Museum Club (with revolving Costume Museum highlights), it’s bound to become a favorite, frequent entertainment destination. With summer maybe being the best time to beat the crowds and partake in a little musical theater education alongside a thrilling and unique experiential show.

For tickets to DANCING FEET: The Experience and information about The Wick Theatre’s upcoming 11th Anniversary season, head to their website at Or call the Box Office at 561-995-2333. The Wick Theatre and Museum Club are both located at 7901 North Federal Highway, Boca Raton 33487.

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