Choreographer: Jenn Freeman
Composer: Dani Markham
Reviewer: Adrienne Sowers
It seems of late, that run times of shows are of utmost importance to audiences. Particularly in New York, where it is rare to ever plan just one activity in a single evening, knowing when a show is meant to end is as pertinent as the start time to those purchasing tickets. Time is a precious commodity, we never quite feel like we have enough of it, and it governs many of our decisions.
It is there adherence to and awareness of time that drives Freemove Dance’s It’s Time at the 14th Street Y. A large digital clock set into the back wall of the stage counts down how much time the audience has left to remain in the theatre – phrased this way because the countdown begins before the show, illuinmating into action when the house opens. Anyone that has done even one show in their lifetime knows the bravery behind such a choice – house often gets held for various reasons, throwing estimated end times into turmoil. It is an exercise in trust to allow such transparency regarding time.
With this clock counting down, once the show begins, the sundry ways we as a culture relate to time are investigated. The action is driven by drummer/co-arranger Price McGuffey on a drumset looking over the stage from above. It is impossible to not draw a parallel between McGuffey’s positioning and the exaltation of time as God. The ensemble – Maddison Burg, Mia DeWeese, Matt Luck, Christopher Ralph, and Madeline Wright – grapple with conflict, scarcity, joy, and the ever-present sense of time is running out! as they skillfully perform Jenn Freeman’s engaging and challenging choreography. There are moments of charm and wit, particularly in a moment having a bit of fun with the song “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper. There are moments where the anxiety of being on time or needing more time or finding someone before time runs out are dynamically and poignantly explored. The choreography and its execution are stunning, and supported brilliantly by Philip Treviño’s deliberate lighting design. Treviño is also to be acknowledged as stage manager for keeping a show that is the epitome of time-sensitive running right on schedule.
Sadly, unless one has time to make it to the 14th Street Y by 7:00pm on Sunday September 22, they will miss out on this show. But perhaps there will be another iteration at another time. It is absolutely worth making the time to see It’s Time and let someone else worry about the clock for a change.
Runs until 22 September, 2019 | Photo Credit: Maria Baranova