Watson and cast members Photographer:
by Joel Benjamin
weren’t any little budding ballerinas attending Nutcracker Rouge at the
Minetta Lane Theatre in the Village. However, those there were surely
stimulated in more fleshly pursuits. This bare, beautiful cast do their best
in this retooling of the Nutcracker story filled with erotic dance, sexy
acrobatics and music (unfortunately, mostly canned classical with some very
good live singing). In Rouge Marie Claire (exquisitely beautiful Laura
Careless) learns about love and the art of being deflowered, not about
desserts, flowers and toys. Her guides are Drosselmeyer (Jeff Takacs) and Mrs.
Drosselmeyer (Shelly Watson), an exuberant and boisterous couple who not only
corral and introduce the actors—who dress in full sight of the audience—but
keep the audience totally involved in the action moving the show along at a
members of Nutcracker Rouge
Photographer: Phillip Van Nostrand
presented by Company XIV, conceived, choreographed and directed by Austin
McCormick, begins as you walk into the lobby where even the refreshment staff
are very friendly—and good-looking. Carrying your intoxicating beverages into
the theatre you’re greeted by a thick stage fog that enhances the appealing
feeling of time travelling. The Victorian era scalloped red curtain and
old-fashioned chandeliers used as footlights (designed by Zane Pihlstrom who
also created the elaborate—if skimpy—era-jumping costumes with atmospheric
lighting by Jeanette Yew) enhance this first impression.
Drosselmeyers take Marie Claire on an escorted tour that includes a joyfully
spinning lady in a large hoop (an exuberant Courtney Giannone), dancers and
acrobats hanging from the ceiling, fetishistic whippings, burlesque bumping and
grinding and lots of singing by the Drosselmeyers and a sultry Katrina
Cunningham. Shelly Watson, a modern Sophie Tucker, is both warm and
lascivious, with a rich pop soprano. Mr. Takacs, whose burly build hides his
puppy dog sweetness, gently pushes Marie Claire (who has finally shed her Marie
Antoinette gown and her inhibitions) into her climactic erotic pas de deux with
a very bare and very handsome Alexander Hille.
Cunningham (singing) and Jeff Takacs as Monsieur Drosselmeyer Photographer:
Phillip Van Nostrand
is playful and beautifully performed. It is a perfect alternative to the
routine family entertainments. And, let’s face it, it’s always nice to gaze at
beautiful, talented people.
428 Lafayette Street, between Astor Place and East 4th Street in New York City.
Previews begin November 20 for a November 29 opening.
Performances are Tuesdays – Sundays at 8pm. The Dec 20 performance is at 10pm
and there are no performances on Nov 27 and Dec 28. Tickets from $75 to $175.
Visit http://CompanyXIV.com or call 212-677-1444. The show contains partial
nudity - 21 & over admitted.
info visit http://CompanyXIV.com, Like them on Facebook at
https://www.Facebook.com/CompanyXIV, follow them on Twitter at @Company_XIV,
and on Instagram at CompanyXIV. See what everyone’s talking about at
The Bar @ XIV is open for cocktails before, during and after the show.
The cast includes Laura Careless, Katrina Cunningham, Courtney Giannone, Todd
Hanebrink, Lea Helle, Davon Rainey, Steven Trumon Gray, Allison Ulrich, Brett
Umlauf, Shelly Watson and Jonathan Royse Windham.