This is what I knew about “Judge Me Paris” when I went out toBrooklynlast night to see it: it’s a Baroque Burlesque Opera. While it lived up to that description, I’m afraid there are not enough words to describe the art that is emerging from Company XIV. Not only is it a stunning performance of dance and music, but it’s compelling in a way that left me feeling creatively fulfilled long after we’d departed.
Directed and choreographed by Austin McCormick, “Judge Me Paris” features not only the incredibly talented Company XIV dancers, (Sean Gannon should be mentioned here for both his capable and gorgeous dancing as well as for anchoring the movement on stage for the rest of the great cast) but also features music from the Morningside Opera and SIREN Baroque. The sets are minimal but striking, the use of lighting is better than some Broadway shows I’ve seen and the costumes are barely-there-beauties. Mr. McCormick has fused all of these elements together to create a feast for both the ears and the eyes.
Yet, the most surprising element of the performance wasn’t the dancing or the burlesque elements that made this mythological Greek story come to life in a new way. Theatre companies and performance troupes are perpetually grappling with how to incorporate video into their stages shows. Some are more successful than others, but in “Judge Me Paris,” the video projection element not only works, but works in such a surprising way that doesn’t tilt into becoming over-wrought. It was the first thing I said to my colleague when we left the theatre. “I did not see that coming.”
Judge Me Paris is playing a limited engagement at the 303 Bond StreetTheatre in Brooklynuntil May 27th. Check out their website www.CompanyXIV.com to get your hands on tickets and do it quickly. You will be enamored by watching Pallas, Juno and Venus vie for the title of fairest in the first ever beauty contest in this striking and engaging show. This production has already won the Golden Prize in my book.