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

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.