CTCB’s Maynardville season presents Night & Day, a ballet set to the music of Cole Porter. Maynardville’s open-air theatre is always a pleasure to experience, and with the stars twinkling above it offers the perfect setting for this glitzy production.
As expected, there are lots of colourful, high-energy pieces, with the dancers doing a great job to maintain their bounce and pizzazz throughout. Stand-out performances are given by Sarah-Lee Chapman – who dances in almost every number. Alongside her are Stephen Underwood and Ivan Boonzaaier, who display the dancers’ versatility with their tap routines, though they are let down by the fact that you can scarcely hear them. Xola Putye and Meghan Henegan bring humour and fun to the production with their performance of ‘Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall In Love’. Despite not being in a feature role, Revil Yon shines for his charisma and precise pirouettes. In addition to the dancers, it is a treat to have live music performed by Jesse Williams on the clarinet. His playing is smooth yet full of dynamism, making you wish he played more than just four songs.
Choreographically, however, Night and Day is quite alienating. If you are a fan of the songs and jazzy, musical-theatre style, it will be right up your alley, but if not, there isn’t really much else for you. Although the costumes change, most of the performances have a similar style with very literal interpretations of the music. It’s also disappointing to see the inconsistency of the company’s timing in this production after a year of superb synchronicity in their previous shows.
Nevertheless, Maynardville is an enjoyable night venue at this time of year. Hopefully as the season progresses and transitions into the next, we will see the company performing at the level they were at last year.
Night & Day is currently running at Maynardville Open-Air Theatre until 21 February 2016.