“Dancing Queen” at Planet Hollywood Leaves Us Confused and Aroused

“Dancing Queen,” a new show at Planet Hollywood, is described on its official site as having “20 amazing singers and dancers performing live on stage nightly…this is the biggest, the best and the most fun show on the Vegas strip.”

Well, there are five singers. They’re not amazing. The show isn’t the biggest on The Strip, it’s definitely not the best, and it’s not the most fun. But who are we to quibble with details. There are hotties!

Word of the day: Sylphlike.
Word of the day: Sylphlike.

While the singers do perform live, there’s no band, so “Dancing Queen” is basically a karaoke fest. Reminder: Some people actually like karaoke.

It's sort of like the Broadway version of disco songs. Or something.
It’s sort of like the Broadway version of disco songs. Or something.

Let’s talk about some of the positives of “Dancing Queen,” shall we? First, there’s no pesky “story” or “point” to distract us from all the dancing. (Not having a story is the only way the show could use its Abba-inspired title and songs. Read more.)

Second, there are a lot of costumes. Many of the costumes are provocative. Which only made having kids in the audience a little weird.

This is one cheeky show!
This is one cheeky Las Vegas show!

Another positive about “Dancing Queen” is there’s a lot of energy.

Also, “Dancing Queen” is extremely LGBT-friendly.

Oh, Las Vegas.
Oh, Las Vegas, you’re so you.

That said, “Dancing Queen” is a little confusing. Publicity material for “Dancing Queen” says it features “all of ABBA’s greatest hits” (it can’t possibly, since they had so many) and “disco songs of the ’70s and ’80s.” The show opens with several ABBA songs, so you think it’s going to be an ABBA tribute show, but then it goes off in other directions, with not only disco music, but music from other genres, too (like Whitney Houston ballads).

Ultimately, we don’t exactly know what “Dancing Queen” is. It’s one of those shows that carries the disclaimer, “It’s good for what it is.” Feel free to grab that quote for your posters, “Dancing Queen” producers.

There's a lot to be said for enthusiasm. Probably.
There’s a lot to be said for enthusiasm. Probably.

Some shows benefit from ample portions of cheese. It’s a Vegas tradition. “Dancing Queen” halfways commits to that path. The singing is over-the-top, and a little grating at times. The choreography is a little old-fashioned, but well executed. The costumes are a little on-the-nose, bordering on the absurd.

They're not being ironic.
Sadly, they’re not being ironic.

Beyond what “Dancing Queen” is, we’re not sure who it’s for. We love disco, but we don’t love tired dance moves set to karaoke.

To be fair to “Dancing Queen,” though, you should read Robin Leach’s review, because it’s as if we saw two entirely different shows. Mr. Leach says the show “has great and colorful costumes, and fabulous and fun physical-workout choreography — and the entire harmonious and tuneful package creates a feel-good show that will leave you exhilarated.” So, the exact opposite of what we witnessed.

The one thing “Dancing Queen” has going for it is optimism. The show appeared briefly at New York-New York in a 200-seat theater it couldn’t fill. The former “Peepshow” theater at Planet Hollywood has 1,300. Good luck with that.

We didn't say there aren't bright spots.
We didn’t say there aren’t bright spots.

Whatever our mixed feelings about the show might have been, please enjoy these photos, especially the ones of attractive people gyrating in skimpy outfits. Sometimes, that’s enough. As long as you’re not paying for a ticket.

"Dancing Queen" at Planet Hollywood