Jaime Carrera's 'Sensation' brings a taste of the '80s to BLB

Categories: Dance, Drag, Theater
Jaime Carrera .jpg
Photo by Hilary Stein
Jaime Carrera 
If you feel like you just don't have enough style in your life, you may want to head over to the Bryant-Lake Bowl this Sunday for a healthy dose of '80s glitz served up by performance artist Jaime Carrera and his crew of wildly sexy and sassy performers. The always clever Carrera will present a second performance of Sensation: Performance Inspired by the 80's TV Show Solid Gold, a nostalgic binge on '80s glamor with an extra layer of subversion.

You don't have to be familiar with Solid Gold to enjoy the show, though members of Generation X (or anyone who has a fondness for the '80s) will surely catch the song and pop-culture references. Regardless, people of all ages will be able to appreciate the production for its outlandish choreography, costumes, and showmanship. 

Audra Tracy .jpg
Photo by Hilary Stein
Audra Tracy in "Numanoid"
First to perform is Stephen Herzog (otherwise known as Barbie Q) in the dramatic, true tale of Liz Carmichael, the famed con woman who marketed the three-wheel Dale sports car, "dollar for dollar the best car ever made!" Herzog integrates clips from Unsolved Mysteries into his demur and stoic performance, while Jeffry Lusiak appears in a bizarre cameo. The segment is very funny, but it's also the most poignant of all the pieces as Herzog manages to show a real layer of turmoil in his character. 

Next is self-taught singer/performer Audra Tracy, who gives a stunning performance in "Numanoid," which the program reveals was a name commonly shared by Gary Numan fans during the 1980s. (Gary Numan is considered a pioneer of commercial electronic music.) Dressed in a tight fitting military coat, white mask, and bleach-blond hair, Tracy does a mannequin-type dance in a tribute to Numan's stage presence. The choreography is captivating, and the play between her dress and her movement is fantastic. Later in the show, Tracy sings "Rapture" by Blondie, and is equally entertaining.

Chris Schlichting and Theresa Madaus .jpg
Photo by Hilary Stein
Christ Schlichting's "Upside" with Theresa Madaus
Fiona MacNeill makes her debut Bryant-Lake Bowl performance as the frustrated stage hand who dreams of being one of the dancers in the show. During the "commercial break," MacNeill awkwardly carries out dance moves, while a montage of '80s footage timed with the dance and the lyrics of the songs plays. MacNeill captures the humor and vulnerability of her character, but the greatest achievement of her piece is the collage of found-footage material she has so carefully and cleverly put together. 

Kristin Van Loon brings her usual sense of fun and smart choreography to "More Love Hours Than Can Ever Be Repaid- 1987," an homage to a painting by Mike Kelley with the same title. Performed by Nic Lincoln, Heather Spear, and Arwen Wilder in gold shiny leggings and green tops, the segment incorporates aerobics dance moves and tongue-in-cheek athletics. Like Chris Schlichting's piece "Upside," which he performs with Theresa Madaus, the everyone seems to be having fun. That's really what the whole show is about. It's goofy, it's silly, it's got some artistry, too, but mostly it's just embracing the wackiness of a bygone era. 

Throughout the program Carrera, dressed in drag, takes the audience on an adventure. People are encouraged to dress up as well, and Sensation is made so that everybody can have fun together because, like many shows at the BLB, it's an inclusive performance. That's not to say the artists aren't pushing boundaries or doing challenging work, but they're doing so in a way that brings the audience along for the ride.

Check out the slideshow by Hilary Stein of last Sunday's performance of Sensation here.

IF YOU GO:

Sensation
Doors open at 6 p.m., show at 7 p.m.
Sunday, April 29
Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater
810 Lake St., Minneapolis 
$10-$15 (pay-what-you-can)
bryantlakebowl.com

Location Info

Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater

810 W. Lake St., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Film

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