Tom Gold is the Quintessential Balletic Chaplin, Megan the Frightening Dork, Justin in Yet More Drag, and Amar!

(photos by Paul Kolnick)

I’m writing a formal review for Explore Dance, but for now, if you’re in New York, don’t miss NYCBallet’s DOUBLE FEATURE, showing only through Wednesday. An homage to silent films, the evening is comprised, as the name implies, of two ballets, both by Broadway / sometime ballet choreographer Susan Stroman. The first, “The Blue Necklace,” is a slow-moving melodrama, kind of a soap opera version of Cinderella. Aside from opening chorus-girl and ending waltzing -couples numbers, there isn’t a huge amount of dancing, which is mainly I think why I didn’t care a whole lot for this one, though Megan Fairchild hilariously stood out as the dangerously dorky stepsister who can’t dance her way out of a paper bag. She held her feet so pidgeon-toed at one point, I thought she may twist her kneecap. And who knew how much she looks like Christina Ricci?!

The “feature” to see, though, is the second, “Makin’ Whoopee,” a slapstick piece starring a rather tragicomical Charlie Chaplin in the guise of soloist Tom Gold. There is no one better to play a balletic version of the little fellow — he had all the moves just right; so cutely pathetic but ultimately triumphant… Surprisingly, though, Amar Ramasar is a born actor —

— he completely took over the stage whenever he was on it. Something about him reminds me of Marcelo… He did a crazy sexy bad tango … except, the ganchos. Messrs. Ramasar and Fairchild, those were not ganchos, they were half-assed ballet boy kicky-thingys! Also, Robert Fairchild needs a smaller hat; it practically covered his eyes and I couldn’t even tell who he was until he took it off to do some big bravura jumps and his wet hair went flying about. But apart from dainty tango hooks and over-large sweat-inducing top hats, this ballet showcases a cute little dog, and Justin Peck in yet more drag… this time not as a plump matriach with a nursery beneath her skirt, but as a lovely bride… Don’t ask, just go see it!

9 Comments

  1. He looks like Marcelo doesn’t he!

  2. Hehe, they do kind of look alike, don’t they! They’re both very dramatic (as I now know having seen Amar in a dramatic part) — they’re like actor/dancers — my favorite kind :)

  3. I exchanged a few “pleasantries” with Marcelo at the stage door after Romeo and Juliet. It was weird to hear his voice… nothing like I expected it to be.

    Funny that we hardly ever hear dancers speak… at least ballet dancers. We see them in dramatic roles and probably are projecting a voice from the characters they portray.

    Video is changing that however, because they get interviewed and YouTubed now.

  4. I wish I could go see it! Alas, a few thousand miles prevent me from doing so… do tell more about Justin in drag! Sounds exciting, and it sounds like Susan Stroman pulled it off well, unlike Wade Robson’s piece that he did for SF Ballet. I think ballet could incorporate good non-ballet choreographers into their programs, if it’s done well!

    Isn’t it funny how we sometimes compare dancers to other dancers? They must hate it, but sometimes an aspect of one dancer’s dancing can remind you of another. I try not to do it, out of respect to the individuality of the dancers, but it’s really hard not to.

  5. I know it is not Serenade or Symphony in C or Sleeping Beauty but I absolutely LOVED Double Feature. It is pure fun and pure joy and better than just about any musical currently on Broadway. Best of all, it is attracting to the New York State Theater many people who have never been to the ballet before and many of them will, I am sure, be back. Hats off to Susan Stroman!

  6. I looove the phalanx of brides!! it took me til my 2nd viewing to realize there were men involved in the bride parade :)

    I think this piece is so much better than the stuff Susan Stroman has put on Broadway. (The music gets in the way, maybe?)

    I met Tom Gold briefly, and he looks just like he does as the “Bachelor”…he was wearing plaid pants when I met him. So funny! Very nice guy.

  7. Hehe, that was the funny thing about Justin Peck. Most of the men dressed as brides were kind of small, but he’s pretty big and muscly on top, and the way he was plodding around in that dress, it was hilarious!

  8. Hi Tonya!!

    Wow, I think we went on the same night! Did you go on Thursday? I took Al and he loved it! (differently than other ballet pieces…). I thought it was really fun too. Too bad we missed you!! (We were on the 4th ring for budgetary reasons hehehe)

  9. Hi Dea! How are you? Yes, I was there on Thursday. I’m glad Al loved it! So good to hear from you again :)

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