The Sandman

Morgan Sicklick as Sofia and Aidan O'leary as The Sandman
Morgan Sicklick as Sofia and Aidan O'leary as The Sandman
Photo: Amanda Tipton
Wonderbound celebrates the grand opening of their remodeled and refurbished performance space with the revival of their heralded 2020 Wild West hoedown and showdown, a colorful and poignant collaboration from the innovative and eclectic Wonderbound dance company and the incendiary punk-country-rock band, the Gasoline Lollipops (Clay Rose, Donny Ambory, Bradley Morse, Kevin Matthews, and Scoitt Coulter). The Gas Pops' hit tunes provide the entire soundtrack, start to finish, with Rose's fine voicework throughout. Kudos to the addition of Enion Pelta-Tiller on violin, adding to the western/country flavor.

This epic love affair between Rose (Jocelyn Green) and Jesse (Richard Romero), co-written by Garrett Ammon and Clay Rose, is choreographed (by Ammon) to the ever-popular music and lyrics (by Rose) of one of Denver's favorite dance bands.

The athleticism of the company, in this full-length (two hours plus a 20-minute intermission), two-act, is something to behold, with the protagonists', Green's and Romero's, nearly non-stop solos and pas de deux wowing us as remarkable feats of both artistry and stamina. They are supported in their quest by the ghosts of their mothers, Sofia (Morgan Sicklick) and Maria (Emily Poli), both of whom died in childbirth, whose etherial movements draw from the spirit world.

Rose's aspirations are thwarted by her father, The Sandman (Aidan O'leary), who keeps her captive and abuses her at every opportunity, while he falls ever-deeper into an alcoholic abyss. O'leary embodies this evil with shivering ferocity, sparking dread with his every appearance. Is anyone going to plug this guy? Jesse's father, Adam (Damon Patterson) transitions into priest, providing a source of spiritual counterpoint to The Sandman's evil ways.

Ammon's multipurpose scenic design enhances the fluidity of the storytelling, highlighted by his breathtaking, magical projections, all amplified by the stylish costumes (Kelly Gregson), lighting (Karalyn Star Pytel), and property (Eleanor Moriarty) designs.

The ensemble does yeoman's work providing the lawless flavor of the Old West's saloons, brothels, railroads, and barn dances.

Five shows remain for Wonderbound's The Sandman at their newly remodeled and refurbished performance space at 3824 Dahlia in Denver:

May 10 7:30pm
May 11 7:30pm
May 12 7:30pm
May 13 7:30pm—SOLD OUT
May 14 2:00pm—SOLD OUT

For tickets: Wonderbound.

Bob Bows

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