Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Dream Analysis

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Dream Analysis

Article excerpt

What a queer year it's been for off-Broadway theater! Outside the Broadway belt, where Cabaret and The Lion King rule, the biggest hits have been a whole bunch of wacky one-of-a-kind theater experiences -- from John Cameron Mitchell's drag show-rock concert Hedwig and the Angry Inch to Shakespeare's R&J performed by four schoolboys to Basil Twist's Symphonie Fantastique, a puppet show performed in a 500-gallon tank of water. Now add to the list Dream Analysis, a theater piece by dancer and choreographer Mark Dendy whose sold-out four-week run at Dance Theater Workshop ended September 17, though an open-ended commercial engagement is in the works.

The play opens with Martha Graham, high priestess of modern dance, at her makeup table. Dendy has been perfecting his hilarious and loving Graham impersonation for years at club gigs and awards shows-the severe simian face; the thunderous eyes; the cool, strangled voice -- only now he is joined by a second Graham, the Priestess's Reflection (Richard Move). These turn out to be figures from a dream related by Dendy's fictional alter ego, Eric Henley (David Drake, of The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me fame), to his female shrink (Bobby Pearce in sensible pink-wool drag with pointy glasses).

The dream reminds Eric that while growing up as a Southern gay boy with his Holy Roller mother, he got artistic encouragement from his Aunt Winnifred, who started the local Judy Garland Fan Club and, incidentally, looked a lot like the shrink. Eric recalls moving to New York City at 18 to study with Martha Graham -- the two priestesses reappear in matching gold caftans, top-knots, and trademark grimaces -- at which point he discovered inside himself spirit of Vaslav Nijinsky (Lawrence Keigwin).

The plot proceeds; but remember, we're in dream territory. …

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