Blue Star and her troupe trudge across the stage dragging moving boxes bearing totems from their past productions to the Glass Animals, setting into motion the latest deeply personal dance show from longtime Fringe favorites VarieTease. The unspoken storyline should make sense for those who have followed Blue’s tumultuous journey of the past couple years, from vacating her beloved Ivanhoe Village Venue and building the ill-fated HÄOS on Church Street, to once again becoming a vagabond.
Of course, as in any VarieTease show, there are narrative elements that remain deliberately obtuse (for example, WTF is up with Kai Carter as a gorgeous ginormous drag astronaut?). But whether or not you follow the plot, Blue’s dynamic choreography looks better than ever on the Abbey stage, which gives her dancers more room to stretch their legs than their previous home. This production also gives the theater’s light and sound system a workout (strobe warning!) with a high-decibel soundtrack that spans the sonic gamut from Beethoven to Florence + The Machine; Gabriella Juliet even gets to show off her operatic pipes with a killer clown song from the little-known musical I Could Use a Drink
Standout moments include Blue’s expressive spiraling solo to an Alice in Winter instrumental; Michelina Moen’s powerhouse improvisation to Adele’s "Sweet Devotion" (which is especially exceptional, considering she gave birth mere weeks ago); and a repeated pedestrian motif set to Alt-J that recalls Bill T. Jones’ style. Blue and her crew’s newfound sense of freedom after so much frustration is palpable in this electric outing, which is a must-see for existing VarieTease fans, and should also help gain some new ones.
Tickets and show info: VarieTease"on the move"