Artistic Director/Choreographer Regina Peluso and Director Joshua Campbell created the piece, with Musical Direction by Doug Rohde who leads the onstage four-piece band. They've structured the 90 minute with intermission show (which would play better as 75 intermission-less minutes) as a series of dances that take us through the events of the novel. Each dance is accompanied by a well chosen pop song, sung by one or both of the amazing vocalists who also function as characters in the story - Sam Adamsson as Gatsby's friend Nick, and Katie Gearty as Daisy's friend Jordan. We see flashbacks of Gatsby and Daisy falling in love, Daisy marrying the wealthy Tom, and Gatsby making his fortune in bootlegging and other illegal activities. There are the lavish party scenes featuring the entire company, and emotional duets as Gatsby and Daisy find their way back to each other, and Daisy makes her choice. If you're wondering how they recreate the famous car accident at the end, they use a little artistic license to tell the same story in a different way. But don't worry, this is a musical, so after everyone dies, we still get to have a fun curtain call dance number to send you off into the cold night feeling a little less melancholy that this story usually leaves one.
|Patrick Charles Jeffrey as Gatsby and|
Grace Janiszewski as Daisy
(photo by Scott Campbell)
The company is dressed in gorgeous '20s era costumes (designed by Regina Peluso and Rebecca Abroe) - lots of sequins and fringe for the women, well-tailored suits and fedoras for the men - that still allow freedom of movement. The Ritz stage is bare and open to allow maximum space for dancing, with four raised boxes for tap dancing that light up with the rhythm of the dancing. One final added element is aerialist Heather Haugen who performs at Gatsby's big parties.
The Great Gatsby continues through November 18 only and is close to selling out, so make plans soon if you want to catch it. And watch for their spring show, an adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray at Park Square Theatre.
"The Great Gatsby" November 8-18 2018 at The Ritz Theater from COLLIDE THEATRICAL on Vimeo.