Oscar E Moore

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I LOVE BOB – Inventive and satirical ballet staged at Joyce Soho

July 23rd, 2012 by Oscar E Moore

In the dark as the actors enter the performance space at Joyce Soho – 155 Mercer Street – you will hear the clicking and clacking of tap shoes.  As the lights go up and the incredibly wonderful black and white video projections by Ron Amato and the delightful and melodic pre-recorded sound track composed by Wayne Barker begin, bringing us back to he hey day of the silent movie era and the mega musicals of MGM, we are immediately drawn into a day in the life of an average Joe, herein named Bob (Ryan Kasprzak – a combination of Chaplain and a hefty Buster Keaton) who works for Fed Ups and seems to be that nice guy that can have everything that can wrong go, go wrong including causing the stock market to crash.

His hero is Superman and he poses heroically every time he attempts to help only to have his intentions go amusingly awry.

In this charming and imaginative 70 minute “Silent Movie” ballet directed by Mark Lonergan with inspired sight gags galore and choreographed by Ray Hessselink who supplies two great tap numbers that book end the show and lots of dance movement in between where the actors get to “act” without a hint of dialogue we are introduced to the people who will have major impact on Bob’s life.

The lovely and plain Vera (a terrific Kelly Sheehan) with her large black rimmed glasses and rabbit teeth looking like Sandy Duncan channeling Carol Burnett is the cleaning lady of the Statue of Liberty’s crown who just happens to dance like a dream.

The villain of the piece is Libby T. Grump (a slick and fearsome Shereen Hickman), an evil real estate maven with a grimace that brings to mind the late and great Leona Helmsley combined with the guile of Cruella de Vil.  She thrives during the crash and has her greedy eyes set on taking over Miss Liberty, owned by a revivalist kind of guy named Dwight (a passionate Mike Kirsch) who promises to “Makeover Your Life” – everyone’s life.

You don’t have to be Einstein to figure out what transpires but it is all done with great style and is lots of fun. 

Especially the two puppet pigeons, Vera toppling off of the Statue of Liberty (which is a brilliantly inspired sight gag) and a lovely dance sequence in Central Park between the unconventional love birds Vera and Bob.

C.K. Edwards, Alike Emerson, David Kremenitzer, Kevin Loreque, Adrienne Reid, Tim Roller, Robin Levine, Britta Whittenberg and Andrew Kruep (Standby for Bob) comprise the Parallel Exit Company and play a slew of characters in “the amazing adventures of an ordinary guy.”

www.parallelexit.com    www.joyce.org

Photo: Jim Moore

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