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  •  REVIEW: ALLEY OF THE DOLLS [THIS IS NOT A SEQUEL]

    Vanessa Walters and Nicole Wolcott as cyberBarbies in Alley of the Dolls [this is not a Sequel]
    Photo by Steven Schreiber
    Vanessa Walters and Nicole Wolcott as cyberBarbies

    Dolls that can Dance

    Vanessa Walters and Nicole Wolcott's Alley of the Dolls [this is not a Sequel] at Joe's Pub

    By QUINN BATSON
    Offoffoff.com

    You don't need to know about Valley of the Dolls to appreciate Alley of the Dolls [this is not a sequel], but it probably helps. Nicole Wolcott and Vanessa Walters heap schtick onto heels in their twisted homage to the original twisted tale. The result is a sendup of commercial dance — Broadway, backup dancers for singers, videos — that makes one wonder how anyone endures the humiliations to come out sane or happy on the other side. The answers apparently are a dark sense of humor and the joy of performing.

      
    ALLEY OF THE DOLLS [THIS IS NOT A SEQUEL]
    Choreography by: Vanessa Walters and Nicole Wolcott, with Stephanie Dixon, Tim Edwards, Katie Rayle, Joe Shepard.
    Dancers: dancers: Leslie Cuyjet, Stephanie Dixon, Tim Edwards, Gia Mele, Katie Rayle, Yarden Raz, Joe Shepard, Vanessa Walters, Nicole Wolcott
    performers and singers: Yana Chupenko, Angela Di Carlo, Patrick Johnson, Bradford Scobie, Casey Spooner
    .
    Music by: Angela Di Carlo.
    Sound design by: Omar Zubair.
    Costumes by: Patrick Johnson, with.
    Production stage manager: Mike Mclavor.
     SCHEDULE
    Joe's Pub
    April 28 and 29, 2011

    The dolls in this alley are more Barbie than barbiturate. Walters and Wolcott emerge from blackness in white-blond Barbie hair to start the show, and "dolls" as sleep pills or downers are hardly mentioned. The messy "not a sequel" that follows is a fun variety show of dysfunction.

    Tim Edwards and Joe Shepard join the Vanessa and Nicole dolls, with Leslie Cuyjet, for "Make-Up," the prequel to any good stage show. The dancing, here and in other group pieces, is brisk and sassy, with plenty of winks thrown in.

    The "Valley of the Dolls Cliff Notes," written and sung by Angela Di Carlo and acted out by a trio, is pretty entertaining and probably pretty informative. And Katie Rayle's two-part "The Rockette Experience" is perfect for the balcony railing of Joe's Pub, giving her toy soldier the tricky task of walking and turning on a six-inch ledge.

    I am a dancer in Alley of the Dolls [this is not a Sequel]
    Photo by Steven Schreiber
    "I am a dancer"

    Joe Shepard and Tim Edwards are good again as jaded backup dancers for a jaded singer, and the whole dance cast gets solo turns in the cattlecall hellaudition piece "I Am a Dancer," where the dance clichés come fast and furious.

    Bradford Scobie does a psychotic turn as gossip columnist Templeton Starr, to remind us how bizarre showbiz is and how addictive it can be to those who gossip.

    And Casey Spooner of Fisherspooner lends his music and presence to the cause, an endorsement that Walters earns by choreographing his shows. Like the valley of the dolls, this dance business can be a very small, and very colorful, world.

    MAY 5, 2011
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK



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