Thursday, December 5, 2013

Review: A Sticky, Sweet, Sexy Holiday Treat

The Nutcracker has been a Christmas staple for generations. The ballet with Tchaikovsky’s music is iconic with its sweeping score and jubilant choreography. But what happens if The Nutcracker ended up on Santa’s naughty list? You get Company XIV’s sexy burlesque inspired Nutcracker Rouge, a hot and heavy evening of dance and celebration.
The very second you enter the Minetta Lane Theater’s lobby, red lights set the mood. Above the bar, in the bathrooms, even the house lights are red. The mood lighting sets up the environment you’re about to witness. Things are about to get naughty. Dramaturgically, the evening is set up with the source material as the clear bookends. A young girl receives a nutcracker as a gift and at the end she is rescued by the Nutcracker Prince. Unfortunately this through line needs to be present more. While the music is notable and you’re well aware of the title, more references to the actually nutcracker will aid when he arrives in the flesh for his triumphant duet. The night, broken up into two actors, with the Drosselmeyers serving as emcees presenting acrobats and dancers with acts like Turkish Delight, the Licorice Boys, and the Sugarplum Fairy. There is no doubt that there is talent beyond compare on the stage. Each member of the ensemble shines in their respective discipline when given center stage. The only complaint would be some of the brilliant circus acts are forced to the edges of the stage due to the architecture of the space.
Austin McCormick you’ll be still have a fantastic time watching has his hands filled as he conceived, directed, and choreographed the production. With the burlesque feel ever-present, there are occasional jarring moments including the random song and dance to “Material Girl”. But luckily, the production is a stunning spectacle. Nutcracker Rouge is an aesthetic wonderland of color and splendor. Jeanette Yew’s lights are vibrant and variant, showcasing Zane Pihistrom’s costumes on the scantily clad ensemble.
If you’re looking for something that will put you in the festive spirit Nutcracker Rouge is definitely for you. Even if a sexy night at the theater is not your cup of tea, you’ll still have your sweet tooth satisfied.