Company XIV’s production of “Le Serpent Rouge!” is playing through June 6 at 303 Bond Street, where they are the resident company (the space was converted from a tow truck warehouse with the addition of a state of the art dance floor, glass facade, and theatrical lighting).
New York Times: The story — such as it is — is narrated by a Ringmistress/Devil (Gioia Marchese, raffishly cracking a whip) in a small top hat and high patent-leather boots. She introduces the innocent Adam, perched on a swing, and then Lillith, according to biblical folklore his first love, or lust. But Lillith “had no soul,” she says, “and Adam wanted a soul mate.”
So Eve arrives, and across the centuries we see her persistent struggles to retain his devotion. Intermittently, the Drag Queen (Davon Rainey), a comic Puck lip-synching to Peggy Lee and others and holding signs proclaiming the Seven Deadly Sins, helps leaven the drama.
Mr. McCormick’s dances throughout are sensuous marvels, pungent but never overwrought. The performers, though, vary. John Beasant III’s Adam is a cipher, easily led by his sex drive. The women are more interesting: as Eve, Laura Careless is frustrated but earthy, resilient and striving, and Yeva Glover, as Lillith, is lithe and blithely seductive.
The music artfully combines popular numbers (Paul Anka’s “Adam and Eve,” Nina Simone’s “Other Woman”) with rapturous passages from Arvo Pärt and Cecilia Bartoli. Gina Scherr’s substantial lighting contributions include intimate silhouettes and a descending chandelier of candlelike facets. Olivera Gajic’s sumptuous costumes (a ship-bearing hat, for example) can reflect 18th-century aristocratic excess or Douglas Sirk by way of Todd Haynes.
Does this work sympathize with suffering womanhood or mock it? A little of both, I’m afraid. Nevertheless, Mr. McCormick and his crew show great humor and a pronounced appreciation for body heat. The combination is deliriously rewarding.
For tickets, call (212) 868-4444 or visit smarttix.com.
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