Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Green Eyes (Theatre 80)

BOTTOM LINE: modern dance, love story, talented people

Green Eyes is a love story told in song by one couple, while told in dance by another couple. A band backs the story and the performance is entirely musical. It's not perfect yet, but it's a wonderful attempt at a unique production.

Green Eyes tells the story of a young couple in love; they meet, they flirt, they fall head over heels, they fight, they break-up (?) and they realize that love is hard. And that's really the extent of the premise. First, the downfall (and then I'll tell you all the reasons I liked the production)...there isn't really a story, and we never get to meet the characters. The man and woman in the relationship are as ambiguous as you can get and the ins and outs of their situation are as completely unclear. As a result, there isn't a story to grab onto and the outcome of their nondescript struggle is of no consequence to the audience. I'm hoping Green Eyes gets another chance at a production, and I'm sure with some fine-tuning and editing, a beautiful narrative can develop in this piece.

And here's why Green Eyes is's a wonderful and captivating way to create art. All of the artists involved are ridiculously good, it's a joy to watch them all. First off, hearing the five-piece band rock out to well-crafted folk-pop music (by the gifted Brian Mazzaferri) is like watching a fresh, new indie band in a coffee house...there is great energy in these songs. The man and woman who dance the piece are strong and graceful. They partner almost consistently in their choreography and they dance beautifully together. The modern choreography is appropriate for the path of their relationship and it's super cool to see the couple's story unfold in this way. The man and woman who sing the piece have intensely good voices. They both have successful careers already (Nick Blaemire wrote Glory Days and performed in the new musical Cry-Baby, and Celina Carvajal was on MTV's Legally Blonde reality show). FringeNYC is lucky to have performers with these credentials and this level of talent.

The artistic expression that is communicated in Green Eyes is a captivating thing. The combination of dance and singing from two different couples keeps the interest of the audience and gives a well-rounded approach to the production. I really enjoyed all of the performances and I hope this show gets a life after Fringe.

Green Eyes plays at Theatre 80, 80 St. Marks Place. Show times: Thursday, August 21st at 7:30; Saturday, August 23rd at 7pm. Visit or for more info and tickets.

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