By: Holli Harms
You arrive at the Theaterlab and immediately take in the all white room. It feels stark and cold. But this is after all an aerobics class and not some period piece of theatre. We are about to watch actor’s sweat it out for the next 75 minutes. Literally.
Tonight the white space is the Chikatawnee Valley Community Center, and tonight the Jazzercise class will be taught one final time by its creator and instructor, Kelsea Wiggan (Megan Hill). It is not Kelsea’s choice to end the class, but the community center wants to get rid of the old school Jazzercise and put in the cooler and not so old school ZUMBA class with the hopes to expand the membership of the Center. Kelsea is, to say the least, devastated, but doing her best to make sure that this final class is nothing but amazing. She and her assistant, MJ Fray (Amy Staats) are going to give the two, yes two people, who have arrived for this final session a workout to remember, but Kelsea’s hurt and anger at losing the one thing she had in her life won’t stay down or be sweated out. Over the course the play Kelsea laments her life and choices and loneliness while MJ does her best to keep the room together with positive thinking. All of this going on at the same time the jazzercise class is happening. Lift and lift and lines and lament and lift and squat and – you get the picture. But really you have to see it to believe it. Director Margot Bordelon and choreographer Sarita Lou have created dance/movement along with Hill’s funny, fast -paced dialogue that together are like watching a fine tuned machine with intricate gears and pulleys.
The two “students” taking the class, are audience members who signed up prior to that night to be in the show. I heard when I was leaving an audience member ask if he could come back and be one of the “students”unfortunately for him there’s a waiting list.
Amy Staats and Megan Hill are a terrific comic duo. They are members of DODO, a theatre collective of friends, (very talented friends), who as their mission statement say that they want to build funny/sad/hi-brow/lo-brow theatre events in the spirit of trying new things and trusting in an artist’s potential to evolve. Meaning it’s not perfect. It’s work. It’s how art is made with mess and work. Wouldn’t want it any other way.
The Last Class
A JAZZERCIZE PLAY
Written by Megan Hill
Performed by Megan Hill + Amy States
Directed by Margot Bordelon
Choreographed by Sarita Lou
Category Off Off Broadway, Interactive, Play
Runtime 75 minutes
Feb 17th – March 5th @ 8:00pm
WED – SAT
357 West 36th Street (Between 8th and 9th)3rd Floor