‘Vices: A Love Story’ provides a powerful start to new season at Caldwell Theatre
By Skip Sheffield
“Vices: A Love Story” was nominated for eight Carbonell Awards and won two: Holly Shunkey for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, and AC Ciulla for Best Choreography, when it made its world premiere in the summer of 2009 at Caldwell Theatre Company.
Artistic director reasoned that since it was a summer show, many Caldwell snowbird patrons missed it the first time around. So, “Vices” opens the new season and runs through Dec. 12 at Caldwell, 7901 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton.
While “Vices” is an ensemble piece for two dancers and four actors, if there is a star of the show it is Holly Shunkey, a riveting performer if there ever was one.
Holly is back, and she has a new partner in Albert Blaise Catafisi, a powerful dancer and actor who gracefully supports and complements Ms. Shunkey in the erotic, intertwining, athletic dance of desire that sets the mood for this production of dance and music illustrating the vagaries of love in the 21st century.
The clever dialogue is written by Michael Heitzman and Ilene Reid, who also collaborated on the music along with Susan Draus and Everett Bradley.
“Vices” is performed rapid-fire, without intermission, under the direction of Clive Cholerton, with musical direction by Eric Alsford.
As the title declares, this is a story of the power of love and the tenacious grip of vices, flaws and addictions that interfere with love. Returning for this round is the terrific tenor Carlos L. Encinas and the spritely, lithesome blond soprano Lara Janine. New to the production is the big-voiced and expressive Danielle Lee Greaves and the equally adept singer and agile dancer Will-Lee Williams.
The number “What If” segues into the irksome but comical vice of “Do You Mind If I Smoke?” a question which is decreasingly sympathetic, and “Hello…Aah,” which celebrates and puts down cell phone communication.
The guys have fun throwing fake weights around in “Buff,” as does everyone in the debt-crazy “Charge It” and self-satisfying “Chocolate.”
Boca ladies will relate to the mocking entreaties of “Nip and Tuck,” and everyone will understand the televised mayhem of “White Noise.”
The band, contained in a loft about the stage, is super-tight with seasoned pros, including some especially tasty yet not overpowering electric guitar work from Greg Chance.
See “Vices” with someone you love; preferably with someone who appreciates the beauty of expressive dance. It’s a strong start for Caldwell’s 2010-2011 season and sign of good things to come.
Tickets are $38, $42 and $50. Call 561-241-7432 or 877-245-7432 or visit www.caldwelltheatre.com.