By Marcy Stamper
Despite the title, audiences shouldn’t expect only traditional, high-kicking chorus numbers from Oklahoma! at the Broadway Dance Revue. The revue, set for this weekend at The Merc Playhouse in Twisp, is a compilation of original choreography by Methow Valley dancers in styles from belly dance to line-dancing to African dance – the only requirement is that the dance be set to music from a Broadway show.
The music is equally diverse. There is a version of “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music, brought up to date with the infusion of a hip-hop rhythm, belly dancing to “When You’re Good to Mama” from Chicago, and traditional tap-dancing to the classic “Moses Supposes” from Singin’ in the Rain.
This is the second year local dancers have pooled their talents to showcase dance and musical theater. “People think of traditional shows – the Oklahomas, the South Pacifics – but Broadway has so much variety,” said Julie Wenzel, the former artistic director at The Merc, who is returning to the theater to produce the dance revue.
The revue features dances by local choreographers including Lorrie Fraley Wilson, Danbert Nobacon, Kaarin Kelly and Deirdre Luvon. Missi Smith leads a group of young dancers in “Imagine” from Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka (The Merc’s children’s theater production next May) and the High-Country Kickers set their fancy footwork to “Greased Lightning” from Grease.
There are solos, duos and ensemble pieces for 16 dancers, and performers from children through people in their 60s and 70s, all outfitted in colorful, fluid costumes and accented by special lighting and theatrical effects, said Wenzel.
Each performance will include a chance for the audience to vote for a People’s Choice award from among the 11 program pieces. The winning troupe will receive a cash prize – and the audience will get to see an encore by their favorite dancers.
The show is on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (Oct. 10, 11 and 12) at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for those 18 and under.