New Yorkers get to Experience ‘The Hourglass and the Poisoned Pen’
Andrew Pepoy, creator of The Adventures of Simone and Ajax, appearing here regularly, notified us that a stage play he helped conceive will be coming to New York at month’s end. Here’s the official release:
THE NEW YORK MUSICAL THEATRE FESTIVAL AND CHICAGO TAP THEATRE PRESENT THE HOURGLASS AND THE POISONED PEN A SUPERHERO TAP DANCE OPERA
SEPTEMBER 27 AND 28 AT THE MANHATTAN MOVEMENT AND ARTS CENTER (248 W. 60th ST.)
CHICAGO – When Super-heroes, live theater and tap dancing collide, the result is Chicago Tap Theatre’s The Hourglass and the Poisoned Pen. Part story ballet, part summer blockbuster and all rhythm, this is the production that set Chicago on fire. The Hourglass and the Poisoned Pen is the sixth story show created by Chicago Tap Theatre, and the first revision of a previous production. The show was created with the assistance of famed comic book artist and writer Andrew Pepoy (Batman, Fables, Simpsons). With a cast of eleven male and female dancers, all of whom excel in both tap and other forms of dance, and moments of intense action, irresistible humor and heartfelt emotion, choreographer and director Mark Yonally not only creates a whole new world for The Hourglass through his choreography – he also creates a unique new spin on the art of tap dance.
Follow the exploits of Elizabeth, as she and her best friend Daphne become The Hourglass and The Second Hand. They duke it out with the nefarious Conductor and her violin-playing Trio of Terror. Ultimately, Elizabeth’s lame boyfriend, the vile Nick Prickley, gets possession of the source of the Conductor’s skills, the last sliver of wood from the Tree of Knowledge, which grants great and terrible powers.
“Audiences love being told a story,” says Yonally, “and that’s what we do with The Hourglass. We have all the elements of good theatre –character, pacing, plot – as well as the best aspects of dance – fantastic music, compelling movement and honest human interaction.” Although audiences are familiar with traditional forms of tap, exploring tap dance’s conceptual and narrative possibilities is still relatively new. “Using the sound of the taps to help propel the plot is an astounding gift to us as storytellers,” says Yonally. “We can reach our audiences through both their eyes and their ears.”
Super-heroes are not traditionally known for their tap dancing skills, but Pepoy and Yonally don’t let that stand in their way, particularly when they have Kendra Jorstad, one of CTT’s star performers, taking on the lead role. “One of Chicago’s leading dance critics recently described Kendra’s dancing as ‘otherworldly,’” says Yonally, “and that’s absolutely right. Kendra has phenomenal speed and accuracy, as well as an amazing ability to convey emotion to the audience. There doesn’t seem to be anything she can’t do.”
Yonally laughs. “Of course, that just inspires me to give her harder and harder steps!”
The Hourglass and the Poisoned Pen in conjunction with the New York Musical Theater Festival runs September 27 and 28 at the Manhattan Movement and Arts Center (248 W. 60th ST.). The Saturday show begins at 8 P.M. and Sunday shows start at 1 P.M. and 4 P.M. Tickets can be purchased at www.NYMF.org or by calling 212-352-3101.