Early on they play “How We Be”, which starts off with a fantastic beat. Then, Ahmed Gallab, the lead singer and founder of Sinkane, comes in with his fantastic vocals. “Oo-oo-ooh, we’ve got life right in the pocket.” It’s a great song to put in the set early, as it gets everyone dancing. Also, it has over 3.9 million plays on Spotify. Soon after is “Favorite Song”, and it’s clear the dance party will continue all night. “Won’t you play my favorite song?” sings everyone in unison along to this very happy song.
Later on they play a tribute to the late Tom Petty, “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”. They add their own spin to the song to make it sound like one of their own. They have created a unique blend of funk, rock, electronic, and psychedelic rock. For some, the song is only recognized when they sing “Oh hell ya, honey put on that party dress!” It’s a great part of a fantastic night of music by this Brooklyn band that has a bright future ahead of them.
A young woman, Giselle, falls in love with Albrecht. Hilarion, a gamekeeper, warns her not to trust him. After all, Albrecht is engaged and he is pretending to be a peasant when he is actually a Duke. Often during a dance performance, it can be difficult to tell what is happening. However, this is not the case in this performance as all the dancers expressively display the action and emotion.
The movement is extraordinary. It’s graceful and beautiful. Also, it’s impressively athletic with the long stretches of jumping and balancing on one foot. This is truly world class ballet that is often met with thunderous applause after an impressive feat. It’s an absolute must see for fans of classic ballet. In particular, Amanda Assuca as Giselle and Alberto Velazquez were outstanding.
Equally impressive is the set and costumes. At the beginning of each act, when the curtain rises, the audience is in awe. This is especially the case for the second act when the stage floor is covered in a thick layer of fog to create an eerie graveyard scene. The costumes of the Wilis, female spirits who dance men to death, provoke their beauty and ghostliness.
Get tickets now for Giselle through October 29th!
Also see our review of The Joffrey Ballet’s spring show, Global Visionaries.
Sharon, played by two-time Tony Award nominee Alison Fraser, is a psychoanalyst by trade. In the play, she is talking to her psychiatrist, Dr. Schneider, on the Upper West side. She sits in a comfortable chair in very dim lighting. In fact, the announcement before the show strongly discourages texting as the light from a phone would triple the amount of light in the theatre. Also, if possible, avoid sitting near the aisles because the floor lights are just as bright as the lighting on the stage. She starts talking about very normal things to begin, but eventually the actions she describes become very dark and bloody.
Alison does an excellent job in this one woman show. It starts off a little slow but when it gets going, the audience is fully engaged along with her. As she tells the tale of her developing her new passion, her whole body responds with excitement. While she may be the only person on stage, she brings to life the other characters involved in her story creating a full world.
Get tickets now for Squeamish through November 11th!
The lights dim and an announcement asks for everyone’s attention. Please turn off your cell phones. Then, there is something happening in the fourth row. A young man is having a seizure. He is shaking as the people around him look stunned. Someone yells, “Is there a doctor in the house?” A doctor approaches and looks at the man. “Call 911”, he says. The young man has stopped shaking and is now still. After a while, the young man gets up to walk out. A few people start to clap, until he suddenly goes limp again and falls into the people around him. They place him back in the seat. A few minutes later, the sirens of an ambulance are heard in the theatre. The paramedics arrive and receive an applause. Just then, the young man gets up and walks out, looking embarrassed. “Sorry everyone,” he says just before exiting. He was clearly uncomfortable being fragile.
Finally, the dance show can begin. The recorded announcement plays again and the curtains rises. The stage is surrounded by hanging ropes that have the appearance of a cage. The dancers walk around in rigid squares, like animals in captivity. At moments, they pause, and then resume walking again. This goes on for a bit longer than is comfortable. At last, they begin to break out of the trance and move through the ropes. In a way, they are transforming their space and escaping captivity.
The timing of the medical events was very bizarre. The fact that the seizure occurred immediately when the show was starting and that he completely recovered immediately when the paramedics arrived is interesting. Also, the fact that the performance explored the themes of male strength and fragility. Was this medical event was staged? Probably not, but maybe they should stage it.
Get tickets now for Tero Saarinen Company through Sunday!
It was a great night of laughs on Monday at Broadway Comedy Club, which is in a basement on 53rd St, just off Broadway. There was a 13 year old in the audience, but it’s really a show for adults. Here are three of the best comedians that night, and a few of their best jokes.
Rodney Laney (Comedy Central, MTV, BBC, HBO, CBS Late Show)
So you were guided into a dark basement without windows in the middle of NYC. You should feel lucky that you are alive!
My name is Rodney. They named me that because when I was born, my rod extended to my knee! Also, you should meet my brother, Rod-Ankle.
Mike Somerville (Letterman)
I travel often as a comic. I was just in Oklahoma where I ordered three beers. “$3 dollars says the bartender.” “I said three.” “I know.” “Wow, I feel rich!”
“I love you.” “I love you more.” “Ah, I guess you’re right”
Joe Devito (NBC’s Last Comic Standing, CBS Late Show, FOX Red Eye)
“Dating is hard at my age. Dinner, sex, and a movie. Pick 2!”
Spamilton parodies more than just Hamilton. It pokes fun at many different Broadway shows including Book of Mormon, (aka, “Last Year’s Hit” featuring Hello!), Cats (Memory), and Ragtime. Other targets include the actors in Hamilton, such as Lamar Odom, who played Aaron Burr. Odom is sure that he won’t be in the movie version, whenever it happens. The main target is Lin-Manuel Miranda himself. They joke about how he is everywhere now, from all the late night shows to Moana to Mary Poppins!
The music is fantastically done. Most of the songs parodied are from Hamilton, including “His Shot” where he sings, “I am not gonna let Broadway rot!”. The album is now completely on Spotify. Also, the cast does a great job with the lyrically dense numbers.
Get tickets now for Spamilton in New York or Chicago!
In this absurdist satire, the family is Caucasian, but the actors are all non-white and wearing blond wigs. They hilariously portray this rich, out of touch, east coast family. For example, the actors use a speech device akin to lockjaw which amounted to the elitist pronunciation of foreign words to emphasize intelligence. Yet, the effect displayed rudimentary understanding, and a total lack of self-awareness.
The father, Derrick Donnelly has just passed away and now they are selling the house in the Hamptons. Arguments ensue about who gets which items, especially the motorcycle. Emotions flare up as the sister kisses her brother. She confesses how she always felt about him. His response is “Barf! … Barf! … Barf City!” The audience is roaring with laughter. The show is filled with great moments like this.
The music choices in the production are fantastic. At one point, they sing a song that their maid claimed is an old one from Buenos Aires. “I don’t care too much for money, money can’t be love”. All the family starts singing it together in a very funny moment. “That song is by the Beatles”, exclaims Charlotte, the one non family member in the house. Also, In an emotional scene at the end, they play “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve. It’s such a great comedic choice.
Get tickets now for Two Mile Hollow through November 4th and prepare to laugh your ass off!