By Marlene S. Gaylinn

Billed as “An Exotic New Dance Musical -- The Legend of Sally Rand” (a notorious burlesque queen) most folks seemed prepared to be titillated by forbidden sin.  While there was a lot of hooting and hollering at the sexy girls, it seemed to this critic that the guys only got some of what they came for.  This was after all, a parody of old-fashioned burlesque and the strippers costumes of the 1930’s and 40’s revealed little more than today’s bikini bathing suits.   Even the dirty jokes by the old-timer MC, Steve Rossi were stale.

Like the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” the audience behaved cult-like and was bent on simply having fun.  No one seemed to care about the disjointed plot that was difficult to follow and went off into several, meaningless tangents, or, the poorly directed, mediocre cast of singing actors and uncoordinated dancers that was so corny, it was laughable in itself.  At one point, during a can-can dance, the audience’s attention was split between the girls’ kicks and the male dancer, Julian Farinas’ pants that accidentally tore open at the crotch.  He re-appeared on-stage several times without it being repaired and unintended fun arose when folks began taking bets as to whether or not he was wearing underwear.

The main highlight that everyone was waiting for was Sally Rand’s fan dance.  Artfully performed by Amber Carpenter to Debussy’s “Clair de Lune,” the all too short dance number did not disappoint.  Similar sexy illusions, which teasingly revealed nothing, were repeated several times during the show as well as behind a lighted screen.

The musical was written and directed by Misty Rowe, who also did some of the choreography and performed as “Adult Sally.”  Her director’s notes indicate that the show is based upon her 90- year-old mother’s memories.  However, it’s unclear whether in real life, the mother or her daughter Misty ever had personal contact with Sally Rand and if so, under what circumstances.  Was her mother the Adult Rosie depicted in this musical?  Was Misty the daughter referred to with the twisted leg, or was it her mother Rosie?  Tune in for further explanations.

If it’s roughly polished, adult fun you’re in the mood for, you can quench your cravings at the Downtown Cabaret. “Fandance” will continue until April 25.  For Tickets: 203-576-1636.

We welcome Susan Hallinan’s return to Downtown Cabaret as Artistic Director.  Instead of the former in-house productions, the organization has been booking well-attended road shows lately.  We especially look forward to “The 25 Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” June 11-20 and Judy Collins Sept. 25.

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