BWW Reviews: DANGEROUS TO DANCE WITH and Hard to Sit Through at the KC Fringe Festival

BWW Reviews: DANGEROUS TO DANCE WITH and Hard to Sit Through at the KC Fringe Festival

The World Premiere of Dangerous to Dance With continues at the Off Center Theatre in Crown Center through Saturday July 26. Written by Bill Rogers Dangerous to Dance With is produced in conjunction with the KC Fringe Festival. Diane Bulan directs the Martin Tanner Production starring Victor Raider-Wexler, Vincent Monachino, Jim Hopkins, Kelsea McLean, and Coleman Crenshaw.

Kansas City playwright Bill Rogers has won several awards for his work including KC Stage Magazine naming Collisions the city's top-rated show for 2008, Breaking the Trust winning Rockhurst University's Plays in Progress Contest, and Caldwell's Bomb, which won the Audience Choice Award at the MoAct Playwriting Festival. Dangerous to Dance With has a very fine cast, but even the superb talents of Raider-Wexler could not save the play. The characters are shallow and with the exception of Jill and Nick, very unlikeable. Unfortunately, before the end of the show Nick and Jill join the unlikeable squad. The characters stand around and yell at each other, but there is little development of each to draw the audience into the show.

Victor Raider-Wexler stars as Harris, a paranoid, loud, offensive, drunken, and obnoxious playwright who thinks someone is out to kill him. In this production, it could not happen soon enough. He appeared in television shows Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond, The King of Queens and Two Guys and a Girl, but even his superb talent could not make this enjoyable.

Kelsea Victoria McLean stars as Jill, who has moved to the home owned by Harris to recuperate and work on her art. McLean does a good job with the part, but early in the play when things are some-what serious she sits with a nervous grin. It is hard to believe the sincerity of a situation when one person sits smiling through it all. She has previously appeared with Egads! Theatre Company, The Living Room, and the defunct American Heartland Theatre among others.

Coleman Crenshaw does a very good job as Nick, gored by a bull and confined to a wheel chair. He does well with humorous quips that help break the resounding yelling from nearly every other character. His character seems to be the only male with a sense of right and wrong, well at least until the ending. Crenshaw has appeared with the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, The Living Room Theater, and The Coterie among others.

Would I recommend this show? Yes to anyone who has trouble sleeping. Purchase tickets for Dangerous to Dance With at the box office or the KC Fringe Festival website.

Photo courtesy of Janet Rogers.

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