Theater review: ‘Judge Me Paris’

The ensemble is strong, spooky and sensual. This is the last weekend to catch "Judge Me Paris."

Although we all know the trope about those snobby Frenchies, this title’s talking about the literary figure from the Iliad rather than the City of Lights. Either way, it’s equally romantic (if not seductive). This tale revisits the mythology telling how the mortal Paris (Sean Gannon) was selected by Zeus (Jeff Takacs) to judge a beauty contest between three of the loveliest goddesses of the pantheon: Juno (Amber Youell), Athena (Brett Umlauf) or Venus (Brittany Palmer).

More of a theatrical experience than a standard play, this mostly dance piece adds operatic elements to tell the tale. But that stands to reason, considering that Company XIV primarily focuses on dance-oriented works, and then it brings in other elements to complement the art form. For this piece, which features libretto excerpts from “The Judgment of Paris,” the company affiliated with Morningside Opera and SIREN Baroque. The show is directed by founder Austin McCormick, with a tight run time of 75 minutes with no intermission.

Despite the “baroque” epithet, which seems to pertain mainly to the sumptuous costuming and choreography here, modern elements are also utilized. For example, the gods speak to Paris by way of a handheld camera projecting images on the floor, wall and ceilings. The lighting is almost too low throughout, unaided by the consistent use of smoke machines vision obstruction is the last thing you want when you’re trying to watch physical storytelling. But the dancing, singing, orchestration and setting is otherwise spot-on for this work. We would have gone for a little more plot and acting to fully embrace this as theater, or even opera, and the production seems to unfortunately abuse the miscategorization of “burlesque.” But all in all, it was a mesmerizing, high-caliber night of art in a compelling space we’d like to revisit to see how else it can be used or envisioned.

‘Judge Me Paris’
Through May 27
303 Bond St. Theatre, $40
www.companyxiv.com



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

US military tried, but failed to rescue journalist…

The U.S. military earlier this year tried to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria ,but failed to find the captives.

National

Fate of captured beluga whales in hands of…

A Georgia aquarium went to court on Wednesday seeking federal permission to bring 18 captured beluga whales to the United States from Russia.

Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

And then there were six. It was a big night on stage as the Top 6 got to dance with each other, All-star partners and perform a solo routine.

Going Out

5 things to do in NYC this weekend…

FILM Lebowski Fest Aug. 22-23, 8 p.m. Various locations, Manhattan $20-$30, www.lebowskifest.com The Dude abides — for 48 hours to celebrate the 1998 Coen brothers classic.…

Television

'Doctor Who' personality profile: the 4 Doctors

When the time comes for a new Doctor, there's always some anxiety over the big question: Who will he be? The series owes its longevity…

Television

Billy Crystal to commemorate late actor Robin Williams…

  Comedian Billy Crystal will pay tribute to late actor Robin Williams at television's Primetime Emmy Awards on Aug. 25, the show's organizers said on…

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

NFL

Jalen Saunders still unsure what caused car accident…

Jets rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since his car accident, but he didn't say a whole lot.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…