Monday, January 21, 2013

Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks at TLT

Six therapy
by Michael Dresdner

Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks at Tacoma Little Theatre is about as comfortable and delightful an experience as you can imagine having in a theater.

This sweet, poignant slice of life nimbly opens a window onto two endearing characters who waltz right into your heart with a gentle rhythm and a touching realism. What follows is a very agreeable glimpse into humanity at its finest, and when it was over, I fervently wished I could stay seated and click the remote to watch another episode. It was that enjoyable.

Lily Harrison (Sharry O’Hare) is a refined Southern Baptist minister’s widow and former school teacher living in a gulf-view Florida retirement high rise. She contracts for six dance lessons over six weeks to be taught in her apartment.

First-time instructor Michael Minetti (Micheal O’Hara), a sassy, irreverent transplanted NYC gay man, shows up and immediately creates friction with his rather coarse humor and language. Sparks fly, but they manage to make it through the first lesson. By the time six weeks have passed, they’ve gradually unveiled their secrets, pasts, pains, and warmth to one another, and as expected, formed an indelible bond.

The bulk of why this works so well is undoubtedly the two actors. Real life couple Micheal and Sharry are both superb actors on their own, each with acres of credentials and well deserved accolades. Together, they mesh divinely, and work together often enough, and well enough, to merit being called Tacoma’s Lunt-Fontannes. One can’t say enough about how satisfying it is to watch that magic combination of great acting and great chemistry.

The fine acting could only have been helped by director Frank Kohel, and he deserves credit for an excellent job. So does the rest of the production crew.

The set, by Blake York, is the quintessential retired-to-Florida apartment, right down to the furniture brought down from up north, the clean walls, the always running ceiling fan, and the huge glass wall providing an ocean view. Lighting, which wrapped each scene close in a waning spotlight, was well executed by Niclas R. Olson.

Each scene had new costumes by Michele Graves, who also did props. There were fourteen costumes in all, often eye-catching but always perfect, adding another dimension to both to the scene and the characters. There was not a single aspect of this production that was not beautifully executed.

I realize the theatre blurb does not sound like much. “Why would I want to watch someone taking dance lessons?” You wouldn’t, of course, but that’s merely the setting.

Ultimately, this play is about the tender blossoming of a sweet, but unlikely relationship that heals two people who desperately need one another, whether they realize it or not.

Trust me on this one. Go see it. You will thank me.

Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks
January 18 through February 10, 2013
Tacoma Little Theatre

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations! This is the best thing, Thank you so much for taking the time to share such a nice information.
    Theatre Reviews