Friday, January 6, 2017

Va Va Voom Indeed!

Va Va Voom Room at Diversionary

This season’s Diversionary Theatre cabaret production (through Sunday only) of director/choreographer Michael Mizerany’s “In the Va Va Voom Room” is subtitled “A Contemporary Burlesque.” To that end, it features scene title cards, pole dancing (!), fog and strobe lights, and an unending stream of gorgeous bodies at the peak of visual and dynamic perfection. All are engaged in seduction. Va, va voom, indeed!

All photos by Sue Brenner

The intricate dynamics of each potential coupling is up to the viewer to construe, and in that exercise one finds enjoyment and titillation. This taut 60 minute-plus program, certainly not devoid of humor (witness Andrew Holmes’ return as the Disdainful Janitor), is Mizerany’s best so far. However it’s titled, the work looks more and more like a Broadway dance show, only better. The shoes alone are worth the price of admission.

The pole dance, a premiere work titled “Way Down We Go,” sets off the evening at fever pitch. Choreographed by Cara Steen, it features performers Steven Beasley, Victoria LeBrun and Steen.

Victoria LeBrun in 'Way Down We Go"
The pole apparatus having been dismantled with startling alacrity, the ensuing pieces, most choreographed by Mizerany, flow into one another with ease. Once again, Mizerany utilizes Bradley Lundberg and Nicholas Strasburg, two esteemed dancers with presence, command and extreme sexual vitality. The two are paired with each other in the sizzling and erotic “Cage Match” (Mizerany 2015), and equally successfully with others, both female and male, in Caryn Ipapo-Glass’s 2016 “Sudden Subjugation” (Strasburg and Brittany Taylor), Mizarany’s 2010 “Tethered,” commissioned for Malashock Dance’s “Surface Tension” (Lundberg and Blythe Barton), and Andrew Holmes’s “Are You Ready?” (Strasburg and Holmes). Travis Ti danced Mizerany’s premiere work, “Teeth” to music by Lady Gaga. Interesting music selections throughout the evening added another dimension, for instance the use of an aria by Henry Purcell sung by the late, celebrated countertenor Klaus Nomi set on “Tethered.”
Nicholas Strasburg and Brittany Taylor in "Sudden Subjugation"
Nicholas Strasburg and Bradley Lundberg
in "Cage Match"

Bradley Lyndberg and Blythe Barton
in "Tethered"
The only piece that seemed out of tune (from another planet, perhaps) was Zaquia Mahler Salinas and Sarah Larson’s collaboration, the premiere of “remember,” danced by Larson, who was beautifully garbed in white and coiffed by Aisha Mahler Salinas. Intentional or not, Larson seemed the embodiment of purity in a world of decadence.
Andrew Holmes and Nicholas Strasburg
in "Are You Ready?"

Remaining performances of “In the Va Va Voom Room” are at 8pm

Friday, Jan. 6; 8pm Saturday, Jan. 7; and 2 and 7pm Sunday, Jan. 8. Seating is extremely limited. Diversionary is located at 4545 Park Boulevard. Check for availability at 619-220-0097. Single ticket prices ranges from $25-35 (subject to change). Discounts are available for Seniors, Military, Students, Educators, and Groups.

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