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‘Cookin” heat cools off

'Tap' sequel among lackluster shows at large venues

CHICAGO — Beyond issues of non-Equity and the virtual orchestra, the road is beset with other worst tours playing major venues.

Take the unfortunate examples of “Cookin’ ” and “Tap Dogs Rebooted.”

In these product-starved days, the simplistic and verifiably reductive touring Korean import known as “Cookin’ ” has ended up not in the intimate venues where its limited charms might stand a chance but in massive auditoria.

A weird stir-fry of “Blue Man Group,” “Stomp” and “The Iron-Chef,” the show cannot fill the stage.

Marketing campaigns for the show have billed it as a souped-up version of the time-tested Benihana experience — audiences are led to expect actual master chefs working magic with their knives and diced vegetables. Although the percussion, marital-arts action and juggling are food-themed, the cast members don’t look like they have ever been near a wok or a Hibachi grill.

Lame sequel

With the worldwide phenom “Tap Dogs” finally slowing down, the Aussie entrepreneurs had the bright idea of re-energizing the touring market with “Tap Dogs Rebooted.”

It is one of the lamest sequels in the history of the road. The show could more accurately have been billed as “Tap Dogs Goes Co-Ed,” since the main innovation here is the addition of two women.

Given the similarity between the reboot and 1.0, auds may struggle to figure out exactly what else has changed, since most of the set pieces and the materials therein look exactly the same.

The addition of women doesn’t in any way undermine the abiding preponderance of dudes on stage: It merely offers the excuse of adding sexist skits. Here is one reboot that should have stayed in the beta stage.

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