Best Dance Performance in the last 12 Months
Nutcracker (not so) Suite
Myron Johnson's revitalized Nutcracker (not so) Suite marked his return to the stage as both performer and choreographer, along with dancers from the James Sewell Ballet and Johnson's Ballet of the Dolls. The outré plot, set in 1950s New York, sent Little Marie from her fancy Upper East Side apartment to a Lower East Side stew of drugs and brothels. Luxuriant false-eyelash winks at traditional Nutcracker tropes included Stephanie Fellner's rapacious Rat Queen played as the madam of a bordello, along with her menacing squad of Beatniks. Johnson camped it up as the funny uncle who gives Marie the gift of a Barbie and Ken doll (Jordan Lefton and Kelly Vittetoe in drolly robotic performances). Deanna Gooding as Marie combined sweet innocence with virtuosic dancing, while JBS operations manager Mary Jo Peloquin played an exasperated maid with extra-dry comic timing. Everyone onstage appeared to be having as good a time as the audience, especially Kevin McCormick, who wrapped the warped and hilarious narcissism of Marie's mom Flo in haute couture drag.