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WINTERLAND—A Discotheque Cabaret

(Left to right) Jocelyn Green and Andrea Chickness
(L to R) Jocelyn Green and Andrea Chickness
Photo: Amanda Tipton
 
We are overjoyed to see live performances starting up as government restrictions on personal interactions are eased, as we experienced in the press preview for Wonderbound's world premiere of this sparkling mid-winter delight.

Choreographers Garrett Ammon and Sarah Tallman imaginatively stage fifteen playful, exuberant and, at times, provocative dances to seasonal hits from the American songbook, with glittering white costumes (Dawn Fay and Caitlin Goldstein) under a disco-ball-speckled ceiling and eye-popping lighting (Karalyn Star Pytel), including:

Morgan Sicklick
Morgan Sicklick
Photo: Amanda Tipton
 
 
 
Ain't We Got Fun—A mix of ballroom, modern, and athletic sequences performed in white suits and party dresses by five cute couples ...

Beautiful Dreamer—Roy Orbison sings this Stephen Foster classic brought to life by a single, chiffon-clad female (Morgan Sicklick) that, dreamlike, shifts between lyrical, furtive, and emotional passages ...

A Marshmallow World—A crooner yuletide favorite, sung by Dean Martin, hilariously played out via a male burlesque in marshmallow panties and puffy faux-fur berets ...

I Want to Be Evil—No one is more convincing at selling this song than Eartha Kitt, and dancer Karina Cardella, in top hat and faux stole, channels the chanteuse's eccentric and come-hither style in a most elegant fashion ...

Winter—This light-hearted piece by Spike Jones (1952), which was once served up as the soundtrack for a vintage 1932 Frisky Frolics cartoon "I'm in love with someone," provides a celebratory atmosphere accented by silver lamé elegance spread out over five rooms revealed behind a quintet of white, multipurpose and mobile cubes, enveloped by gobo lighting-filter snowflakes.

Isaac Huerta
Isaac Huerta
Photo: Amanda Tipton
 
The Moon Her Majesty—The real-life collaboration between two beats, the poet/novelist Jack Kerouac and the jazz pianist and television host and entertainer Steve Allen, provides a quirky interpretative canvas for a single male dancer (William Clayton).

You Couldn't Be Cuter—The title says it all: three sassy gals in teddies with fans regale us as Ella Fitzgerald sings this Jerome Kern/Dorothy Fields collaboration.

Baby, It's Cold Outside—Colorado's folk-pop star, Nathaniel Rateliff, teams with Julie Davis on this Frank Loesser classic, with a sweet role-reversal choreographed by Ammon, comically played out by Morgan Sicklick and Henry Maximilian McCall.

Button Up Your Overcoat—This fin de siècle hit, intricately choreographed by Tallman (with Jocelyn Green, Evan Pitts, Sydney McCall, and Michael Hinton), engenders that old-time flavor, replete with a "boop-boop-de-boop."

Karina Cardella
Karina Cardella
Photo: Amanda Tipton
 
All By Myself—Karina Cardella, dressed to the nines, coyly undresses in her boudoir, while Bobby Darin croons the Irving Berlin hit. Seductive!

Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me—A spiffy Evan Pitts spins a bright web of jazzy gyrations and classical leaps and spins to this up tempo Tin Pan Alley blues melody.

Is That All There Is?—One of Peggy Lee's biggest hits celebrates the good life in this evocative and sultry number.

Get Happy—A percussive big band favorite by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler belted by Judy Garland with a full stage of exuberant dancers.

Cold Weather Blues—Karina Cardella and William Clayton connect and resonate with Muddy Waters' deep moody blues.

My Dear Acquaintance (A Happy New Year)—A endearing Peggy Lee toast to auld acquaintances by the entire (wholly synched and connected) company.

And there it is, 15 dances in 50 minutes!

Many thanks to Wonderbound's generous supporters for making this production possible after the company's previous home was vandalized on the eve of the original dates for this production! And kudos to Wonderbound for wondrously bounding over all the obstacles!

Wonderbound's world premiere of WINTERLAND—A Discotheque Cabaret, directed by Garrett Ammon, runs through February 7th. All 24 performance are sold out, due to limited seating protocols. Tickets for Wonderbound's next production, The Troublemakers, go on sale Tuesday, January 26th, and can be ordered here. For future announcements, sign up for the company's newsletter.

Bob Bows



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