A dozen years before he established what became the New York City Ballet, George Balanchine brought classically trained dancers and a jazzy brand of ballet into the spotlight of Broadway in the 1936 musical On Your Toes. Balanchine’s legendary “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue” ballet sequence was a breakthrough use of classical dance to advance the dramatic action, and it has taken on a separate existence in the repertoire at NYCB, Miami City Ballet and other companies. But “Slaughter?” is only one of many choreographic opportunities in this dance-drenched musical. Fortunately, Reprise! Broadway’s Best opens a 16-performance run of On Your Toes with Lee Martino taking on the dance-making duties and Jeffry Denman, Yvette Tucker and Jonathan Sharp filling the primary dancing roles. Aside from a fluffy plot about ballet dancers, a tap-dancing music teacher and gangsters, the backstage musical features dance numbers propelled by delicious Rodgers and Hart songs that continue to have a life of their own in the hands of new generations of choreographers and dancers. UCLA Freud Playhouse, Wstwd.; Tues.-Fri., Aug. 14-17 & 21-24, 8 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 18 & 25, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 19 & 26, 2 & 7 p.m.; $60-$75. (310) 825-2101, (213) 365-3500, www.ticketmaster.com.

—Ann Haskins

LA Weekly