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KC Fringe Festival
Dangerous to Dance With

Content Rating: Adult Fare

Type of Performing Arts: Theatre

Written by <Unknown>
Directed by <Unknown>
(Rating: 4.5: Rating Closed) | List the 4 Reviews!


“Dangerous To Dance With” Keeps You On Your Toes

Posted on Jul 20, 2014
by Jewell

5 out of 5

I saw the world premiere of “Dangerous To Dance With”
by Bill Rogers, presented by Martin Tanner Productions
on Saturday afternoon. I heard there was a lighting
problem on opening night that made everything too dark
and it subdued both the cast and audience. Well, the
lights were on Saturday and everything sparkled.

This is my third Bill Rogers play and they keep getting
better. I’m becoming quite a fan. The language is lush
with great imagery and biting dialogue. My girlfriend
wants to get her hands on a script to memorize some of
the lines so she can color up her day-to-day life. One
thing I have learned though is Rogers jumps right into
the story, so you have to pay attention from the
beginning.

In this dark comedy, the paranoid playwright, Harris
Stepp, played wickedly with great comic timing by
Victor Raider-Wexler (you’ll recognize him from TV –
Seinfeld and others-his IMDb page is as long as your
arm) has told everyone he is going to cut his “dagger-
eyed daughter” out of his Trust (I don’t even have a
will). She has angered him in a magazine interview
where she comments on his relationship with a certain
critic, who Harris is suspected of decapitating twenty
years earlier. His daughter and new fiancée decide to
pay Harris a visit in his secluded farmhouse in SW
Missouri just before he makes that change. When only
the fiancée Joe (a plummer? a quirky funny character)
shows up, played with pizzazz by Jim Hopkins (who
usually performs with the Cincinnati Shakespeare
Company), all manner of suspicions arise and the play
is really off and running.

There is a dysfunctional group of additional characters
surrounding Harris. Jill, his niece, lives with him.
She is a ceramic artist turned internet porn star,
played by actress Kelesa Victoria McLean. If you saw
the burlesque Fringe teasers, you may prefer to watch
Kelsea. She solidly holds down the female role in this
very testosterone laden play. After the play I kept
wondering if Harris was being cruel to Jill or
practicing his own version of tough love. Rogers often
gives me things to think about after his plays.

Coleman Crenshaw, plays Nick, a broken acrobat living
with Harris, is more interested in re-habbing certain
parts of his body other than his injured back. Nick has
a very dry sense of British humor, which is perfect for
Coleman, and a great foil to the broader humor in the
play.

The bullied, born in East Germany, local farmer, Irwin,
rents land from Harris. Played delightfully by Vincent
Onofrio Monachino, he is pathetic, funny, and neurotic
as he keeps taking swigs from a Mylanta bottle. Harris
torments Irwin by not signing the farming contract and
Irwin isn’t gong to take it anymore.

There were a few minor glitches on Saturday, but
overall I think the director Diane Bulan took a great
cast and script and made them shine.

Be sure to watch the Bull Dancing video in the lobby
before the show. After all not every farm in Missouri
has a Spanish fighting bull in the pasture to dance
with.

The play runs though July 26th at Off Center Theatre in
Crown Center.


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