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Lori Ortiz
Performance Reviews
Various Performance Dances
Joe's Pub
United States
New York City
New York
New York, NY

Modern [Dance] Musicals

by Lori Ortiz
March 7, 2009
Joe's Pub
The Public Theater
425 Lafayette St.
New York, NY 10003
Dancemopolitan at Joe's Pub
The Public Theater
425 Lafayette St.
New York City, NY 10003

Funny man and dance man Doug Elkins put together a cabaret program of works by moderns for Dancemopolitan at Joe's Pub. The opening night show was a great release from today's sad financial song and dance. Most of the performers had us laugh the worries away with song and dance, opening night March 4th.

First on the tiny stage, choreographer Gina Gibney, renown women's advocate. In her witty "Hairy Poppins," underarm hair is fodder for fun. Entering with flower-laden umbrellas, they chant "Hare Krishna" around Poppins (Carol McCann.) There are various other confabulations on the theme. Poppins lets down her hair and lands in another musical. "Hair." The Tribe of flower children advises her to "feed your hair with LSD." She finally reveals whips and chains under her blazer.

If this sounds too silly for words, Megan Williams and John Heginbotham, from Mark Morris Group, gave us "Greece." There are choice moments, for example, when the dancers form a living frieze in front of a bed sheet scroll of Doric and Ionic columns. Multi-talented Pilobolus dancer Molly Gawler sings and plays mandolin and violin, riding in reverse on the back of a male. She is a highlight. But it is more than enough when a toga-clad hunk sits at the foot of the stage and snacks on a Gyro. Do I need to say that the tunes are from "Grease?"

Tami Stronach"s "Melt Away" has Jessica Green, a Regine-like party host, drain a patron's pocketbook of money. They hoof to "Money" from "Cabaret" while from behind, Adam Matta beatboxes, taking over as "Hunger at the door." It ends conclusively with a sputtering Roman candle…but does not fade from memory.

Nicholas Leichter's duet with Monstah Black raises similar issues. Leichter enters the audience with a large shopping bag labeled 'Stimulus" full of bills. The highlight of "You Can't Win/Brand New Day Medley" is Leichter's street moves, performed with company dancer Wendell Cooper and Monstah Black. The phoenix flies.

Paul Singh has a cabaret side as well. Cross-dressed like a housewife, Paulette prods her distracted husband while singing "I'll Be So Happy to Keep His Dinner Warm," from "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." Like many Wall Street types, he is home, watching the market from behind his "Times." Who knew how classic this 1961 comedy would be.

"A Song and Dance" by Stefanie Nelson, Claire Porter's "Missing You," and Ad Hoc Ballet's "You Could Drive A Person Crazy" are about relationships. This last is an alluring work for party girls on pointe.

Elkins does the final number, dressed as a closeted Maria from "Sound of Music." A starched, white, nun's wimple peeks out from beneath his hoody. His dance is street and dope. In conclusion, he explains that he is "a recovering choreographer." I'll add that in a more perfect world he is the next "Late Night" host.
Monstah Black and Nicholas Leichter

Monstah Black and Nicholas Leichter

Photo © & courtesy of Unknown

'Hairy Poppins'

"Hairy Poppins"

Photo © & courtesy of Unknown

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