MUSICAL OR NOT A MUSICAL

The most acclaimed show of the season has also been the subject of some controversy regarding its condition as a musical. Specialists in the matter said this isnít a true musical; according to them, for a show to be one, it should "contain varying amounts of dialogue, singing and dancing throughout". So what about the songthrough and no dance musicals? It seems that the problem here is the dance; somehow the specialist canít relate to it, they need the songs or the dialogues.

For me, this dance play is a musical, not a conventional one like THE WILD PARTY or AIDA, but nevertheless it tells stories and if FOSSE and other revues could won a Tony for Best Musical, why the fuss about CONTACT? Sincerely, the only thing I missed was a live orchestra (the price of tickets should be lower in account of that).
 

SWINGING

with

SEŃN MARTIN HINGSTON ††† STEPHANIE MICHAELS††† SCOTT TAYLOR

Taking full advantage of a swing and a terrific trio of dancers, Susan Stroman delivers the most original moment of the evening. Her rich imagination turns this short piece into a delightful moment of choreography. I never dreamt that so much could be done in a swing.

 

DID YOU MOVE?

with

KAREN ZIEMBA

JASON ANTOON

DAVID MacGILLIVRAY

In this second piece, a Wife married with an abusive Husband goes to a restaurant where she escapes to a dream world where everyone dances. For me, this is the best and the most emotional number of the entire show. Once again Stroman, here in a more classic mode, shows all her talent and imagination, giving us a funny but sad ballet. It's also in this number that Stroman shows that she knows how to directed actors and knows how to move with our deepest feelings. The entire company excels but itís Karen Ziemba who steals the number. Showing not only her talent to dance but also all her acting abilities, Ziemba is absolutely amazing giving us the star turn of the evening.
 


CONTACT or THE GIRL IN THE YELLOW DRESS

with

BOYD GAINES    DEBORAH YATES

An Advertising Executive, who tries to commit suicide, goes to a club where he falls in love with a Girl in a Yellow Dress. This is the longer piece of the evening but itís not the best. Donít get me wrong, all the usual Stromanís flair is here and the dancers are simply fantastic. The problem is that itís kind of repetitious and the originality of the other two pieces isnít visible here.

The number reminded me of the MGM musicals where Cyd Charisse entered a club and every man wanted her. But those numbers were shorter. Boyd Gaines convinces as the Executive and even manages a few dance steps. As the Girl in the Yellow Dress, Deborah Yates shows that she is a wonderful dancer but Iím not convinced about her acting talents. Anyway this is a good and entertaining piece of dance theatre.


Written by John Weidman

   Directed and Choreographed by Susan Stroman

Rated by Jorge: ++++


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