WET BLUE & FRIENDS
nytheatre.com review by Saviana Stanescu
I have never thought that the word buoyancy might be embodied in
such a delightful, literal way as it is in Clare Byrne’s dance piece
Wet Blue & Friends, which has already gained some downtown fame
after being performed at Dixon Place and some other venues.
August 15, 2002
Clare creates a memorable character, a Chaplinesque guy in a blue, dirty, too-large suit, with swimming goggles on his white bathing cap, and a children’s book name: Wet Blue. His adventures take place in a subway car, a public bathroom, and a bar, before getting to his natural habitat, the swimming pool. Thirty pink dresses and costumes hang from the ceiling like ghosts from a tattered sub-world while Wet Blue encounters various no-goodniks, prostitutes, and a self-absorbed media anchor.
With the help of three movable chairs and a few expressive dancers (Donna Bouthillier, Sarah Carlson, Ruben Ortiz and Theresa Palazzo) Wet Blue’s funny and sad story in the urban jungle is recounted in a charming, inspired manner that succeeds in revealing the loners’ and outcasts’ poetry in daily life.
The communion of pathetic and comic (a paradox that Kierkegaard dreamt of) is joyously translated into movement and gesture. Clare Byrne’s choreography and performance sweep a seduced audience into a blue-and-pink humorous and dramatic world, a colored live version of old black-and-white movies.
Aretha Franklin’s blues is mixed with toilet flushing noises, ballet is intermingled with pantomime, and dreams are overlapped with reality in this must-see show whose tragic undertones enhance its special freshness and beauty.