Collide's mission is to create original jazz dance musicals, i.e., tell a theatrical story through live music and dance. Since I love to watch dance but can't really fit it into my already too busy theater schedule, Collide is my excuse to branch out a little from the theater world into the dance world. I love how they're able to convey character, emotion, and story through movement, and they always have fantastic singers and musicians to accompany them.
The plot of C.L.U. is a little preposterous (I'm not even going to tell you what C.L.U. stands for), but allows for some silly and campy fun. A collection of oddballs are invited to dinner by a mysterious man named Mr. Bottie, who knows a secret about all of them. We see each character's sordid past in a dance flashback, from murder to bribery to arson. When Mr. Bottie turns up dead, conveniently just before intermission, it's the audience's job to guess who killed him and fill out a voting ballot similar to that Clue sheet I used to take such detailed notes on. But in this case there are no real clues, and I'm not sure the votes were actually counted (I'm a statistician in my day job, so if data is collected, I want to see the results!). The second act presents three different scenarios of who could have done it, which is fun to see, but an improvised dance based on the actual results would have been fun too.
|the cast of C.L.U.|
At just over 90 minutes including intermission, and with a VIP option that includes drinks and snacks, C.L.U. is a fun and entertaining night at the theater. The thinness of the plot is more than made up for by the wonderful in-character dancing, great live music, and delightfully campy performances. C.L.U. continues through this weekend only at the Ritz Theater in Northeast Minneapolis (discount tickets available on Goldstar).