Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks

By Marlene S. Gaylinn

“Six Dance Lessons,” at the Ivoryton Playhouse, is a tender story about two, lonely souls of very diverse backgrounds. This odd couple struggles to find common ground and illustrates that there is all kinds of love in this world.

Valerie Dodge (Lily) effectively plays the aging, prim and proper, wealthy widow from the South, who engages a private, ballroom dance instructor “...to put a little fun in her life” (1950’s Arthur Murray Show’s TV slogan).

Michael Innucci (Michael) is the down to earth, middle-aged, struggling, dance instructor. The former, Broadway dancer, who claims that he once performed in “A Chorus Line,” arrives at his student’s Florida Condo, with his own footprint cut outs (a novel teaching method invented byArthur Murray) and tape-recorded music. He frankly admits to being homosexual, is prone to losing his temper, and totes some additional, inner baggage. Although Innucci is heavily built, the actor is surprisingly light on his feet. As he leads his elderly partner in the foxtrot, cha cha, swing and tango, his student gains more confidence and the instructor takes full command of this very human dance of life.

Both actors give excellent performances in a well-written, poignant comedy by Richard Alfieri. Sasha Bratt sensitively directs and Apollo Smile is the Choreographer.

Plays through May 22 Tickets: 860-767-9520

This review appears in “On CT & NY Theatre” May/2016

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