SHOW: Ballroom Dancing Ain’t For Lovers
GROUP: Kate and Don Productions
ATTENDED: Sun., Sept. 8, 8 p.m., Society Hill Dance Academy
CLOSES: Sept. 22
BRIEF SELF-DESCRIPTION: “Because Ballroom Dancing Ain't For Lovers is a romantic comedy, it ends happily but only after a circuitous journey through suspicion, politics, ballroom dancing, and the Rocky Steps.”
George: “She’s a dancer. I think she’s in love with me, Jerry.”
Jerry: “Riight. And she knows you can’t actually dance?”
Someone over at Kate and Don Productions must’ve been watching a lot of Seinfeld, because Ballroom Dancing Ain’t For Lovers feels very succinctly like a George and Jerry plotline mashup with overtly on-the-nose Philly references and some dancing thrown in. The problem is that this kind of emotional immaturity tends to lose its charm outside of that particular environment.
Greg shows up at his friend Ernie’s dance studio not to get his dance on, but to see if he can find the woman of his dreams- one who loves coffee shops and the saving the environment as much as he does. Greg spots Irene, a devotee to dance, in the studio and awkwardly woos her. What Greg doesn’t understand is that to Irene, dance is a stronger language than simply talking. “I couldn’t love a man who can’t dance,” she tells him, and as the two become an item, it’s up to Greg to keep the ruse: he too is a dancer. He just loves it. But nope, he sprained his ankle. He only does the American Waltz. Classic Costanza.
Elaine: “Oh, how was your date?”
Jerry: “It was perfect. I think I have to break up with her.”
Jerry: “She’s a Republican.”
Inversely, after Greg’s cover is blown and Irene handles the situation like a normal human being, he learns she doesn’t ascribe every single one of his bleeding heart liberal beliefs and, in a move that would make Jerry nod in agreement, dumps her. The rest of the show follows the romantic comedy guidelines pretty strictly. Those blueprints are fine, but Greg’s character has been so highly Seinfeld-ized that he becomes frustrating and lost as someone we should root for within 20 minutes. Dancing-wise, there’s plenty of ballroom dancing (as per the show’s title) by some talented dancers. It’s only unfortunate that the choreography was used more as a prop than any sort of thematic purpose.
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