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IMPRESSIONS: THISISPOPBABY's "Riot"

February 21, 2018

At one point during THISISPOPBABY’s Riot, drag queen Panti jokes about the inclusivity of the queer community, saying they’re better with letters than numbers, a reference to its ever-growing acronym. Hence, the shape of my review, which is also meant to evoke the cheerleading spirit of the production.

 

TWO MINUTES TO READ

 

PREVIEW AND LINK AFTER PHOTO

 

 

Panti and friends during THISISPOPBABY's Riot at NYU Skirball Center, co-presented by Irish Arts Center. Photo by Ian Douglas.

 

R is for REVUE.

THISISPOPBABY swishes into NYU Skirball Center with Riot, a 21st-century vaudevillian extravaganza. With a wink and a hair flip, multi-talented performers take to a small, sometimes spinning platform to sing, dance, joke, and rant.

 

The sketches range from lowbrow bump-and-grinds to high-flying acts of bravado, hitting every increment in between. Drag queen Panti does double duty as sociable emcee and ribald comedian, her coif of blonde curls stiff and immobile as she prances in a figure-hugging dress. Circus artist Ronan Brady drapes his body inside a somersaulting Cyr wheel, and he preens good-naturedly through a striptease to “Whatta Man.” In a one-night-only appearance (each evening boasts a special guest), author Irvine Welsh of Trainspotting fame reads a profanity-laden excerpt from his soon-to-be-released Dead Men’s Trousers. Regardless of content or tone, everyone performs with such charm that the show could easily swerve into a parade of scene-stealing divas, yet the camaraderie stays as sky-high as Panti’s heels.

I is for . . .

 

TO READ THE BALANCE OF MY REVIEW, PLEASE VISIT THE DANCE ENTHUSIAST.

 

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