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Megan Williams’ ”One-Woman Show” Follies with Nine Dancers

by Bonnie Rosenstock
January 17, 2019
Joe's Pub
The Public Theater
425 Lafayette St.
New York, NY 10003
212-967-7555
Megan Williams’ “One Woman Show,” a DANCE NOW encore presentation at Joe’s Pub (January 6) was a delightful crowd pleaser. The nine talented dancers appearing with Williams had the glorious task of performing to music that harked back to the 1930’s, the Golden Age of Hollywood movies, with a dash of other bygone eras thrown in. The press notes declared that Williams “channels the tragic and comedic heroines…as a lens to view the experience of the 21st-century woman.” If Williams wanted to press home that point, then she needed to inject other kinds of dance material, or have a different kind of show. I say just enjoy the great dancing and music and give the 21st century a break.

The series of vignettes were smartly choreographed and deftly danced to some recognizable songs, depending on your age or proclivity for Hollywood classics and kitsch: “Get Happy” from “Summer Stock” with Judy Garland; “Choreography” from “White Christmas” with Danny Kaye; “Love You Didn’t Do Right By Me,” also from “White Christmas” with Rosemary Clooney; “Before the Game” from “I Love Melvin” with Debbie Reynolds; “I’ve Been Kissed Before” from “An Affair in Trinidad” with Jo Ann Greer singing for Rita Hayworth. There was also text from films, which the ensemble sometimes lip-synched while dancing: “Mildred Pierce,” “The Philadelphia Story,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “The Women,” “Stage Door,” “Gilda,” “All About Eve;” “Our Gang.” I was ferklempt.

The Nostalgia Train couldn’t leave the station without the Ziegfeld Follies (newsreels in text form) or showgirl headdresses. Williams, in her “diva” persona, wore a whimsical headdress decorated with stars and half-moons, while her ladies’ headgear was simpler, with just one star or half- moon. The ensemble circled a basket full of props and pulled out corny hats, which were thankfully rejected. A bit with large silvery circular discs was a recognizable feature of those long ago big cast glamor musicals. There were well-executed solos, duets and group numbers. There was a lively farm dance duo, the woman in an apron, the man wearing suspenders. A great “All Or Nothing at All,” with tap elements, a shoutout to Fred and Ginger. An expert French Apache dance with more contemporary elements.

Williams’s presence was felt although she performed in about half the numbers. The “diva” was carried onto the stage from the audience. She executed a touching duet, which featured lying on the floor with her partner and, well, touching, in a sense of loss way. A funny bit was a song about being 40, in which the performers held up Williams’ bra straps to lift those sagging breasts and pushed up her cheekbones and hair. Of course, you can’t have a finale without silver lamé, so there it was. All in all, That’s Entertainment.
Pictured – clockwise: Kristen Foote, Megan Williams, Chelsea Hecht, Courtney Lopes, <br>Esmé Boyce.

Pictured – clockwise: Kristen Foote, Megan Williams, Chelsea Hecht, Courtney Lopes,
Esmé Boyce.

Photo © & courtesy of Yi-Chun Wu


Pictured L/F-B: Robert Mark Burke, Dylan Crossman, Megan William (center), R/F-B: <br>John Eirich, Derek Crescenti.

Pictured L/F-B: Robert Mark Burke, Dylan Crossman, Megan William (center), R/F-B:
John Eirich, Derek Crescenti.

Photo © & courtesy of Yi-Chun Wu


Pictured: Megan Williams.

Pictured: Megan Williams.

Photo © & courtesy of Yi-Chun Wu


Pictured: Megan Williams and Dylan Crossman.

Pictured: Megan Williams and Dylan Crossman.

Photo © & courtesy of Yi-Chun Wu


Pictured: Megan Williams and Dylan Crossman.

Pictured: Megan Williams and Dylan Crossman.

Photo © & courtesy of Yi-Chun Wu


Pictured L-R: Robert Mark Burke, Courtney Lopes, John Eirich, Megan Williams (center).

Pictured L-R: Robert Mark Burke, Courtney Lopes, John Eirich, Megan Williams (center).

Photo © & courtesy of Yi-Chun Wu


Pictured L to R:<br>Dylan Crossman, Kristen Foote, Chelsea Hecht, John Eirich, Megan Williams, Robert Mark Burke, Esmé Boyce, Derek Crescenti, Courtney Lopes.

Pictured L to R:
Dylan Crossman, Kristen Foote, Chelsea Hecht, John Eirich, Megan Williams, Robert Mark Burke, Esmé Boyce, Derek Crescenti, Courtney Lopes.

Photo © & courtesy of Yi-Chun Wu

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