nytheatre.com review by Komail Aijazuddin
August 19, 2006
You are not good enough as you are. It's a hard pill to swallow, but it's true. You're about fifty pounds, three minor surgeries, and one Nobel Prize away from being everything you can be, or so you suspect. For anyone who has been on a date—hell, for anyone who has walked down Broadway on a Saturday morning shining with stares and judgment, EYE CANDY is not to be missed.
With the dating checklist expanded to include rocky abs and buns that defy physics, this funny and engaging modern dance performance takes a candid look at the ever-challenging search for a mate. Created and choreographed by the immensely talented Maria Colaco, the piece hacks away at relationship protocol, vocabulary, and ritual to present us with a wholly unique and endlessly hilarious view of what we do on the prowl for love. Colaco has mixed modern dance with dramatic theatre, and the result never bores. Her direction is confident, daring, and refreshingly unexpected. Interactive without being intrusive, the show will stun you with how many times you'll see your own past being acted out for you. Each initial stare, stifling relationship, and bad breakup is immediately accessible and presented without pretension. The script is hilarious and its structured extremely well thought-out.
The cast, which includes Colaco herself, works well together. They are talented, well-trained, and a joy to see. Billy Keiffer and Patrick Pizzolorusso are particularly enchanting, easily commanding the audience's attention whenever on stage. Though ultimately a comedy, EYE CANDY is infused with some serious dramatic segments that stun and impress in equal measure. Specifically watch out for Pamela Ralat, whose tearful and disturbing monologue towards the end of the performance is deeply touching. Each cast member inhabits a stereotype of sorts from the onset: Divas, Lovers, Pimps, Hotties all frolic in unison and this with other simple but effective theatrical tools adds to the complexity of this performance. The dance pieces themselves are beautiful, striking, and meaningful and range from sinewy ensemble numbers to sensual fits of fan kicks and cigarette holders.
EYE CANDY strips dating to its underwear and parades it before us in a way that is not only consistently entertaining but also introspective. It provokes, above all else, thought. Thoughts about body image, cruelty, love, compassion, lust, sex, drama, ambition, the superficial and the prophetic. And occasionally about how fat you are. Then again, there is always the Nobel Prize.