A Strong Ensemble: Dance Nation at Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Through February 2, 2020)

A dance team of preteens are striving to compete at nationals. The actors playing them range in age from being in their 20s to their 70s. This is very funny at first, and the actors play it up. Eventually, you grow used to it as they truly do embody these young girls and a boy. Also, a few times they act as their characters’ older selves looking back at this time in their life in a cool time shift.

The play has some very vulgar and honest language. It’s a very in depth dive into these girls lives. It is similar to The Wolves in that the teens discuss typical youthful interests but also some very adult topics as well. One small downside, is at two hours long, this play could really use an intermission. I don’t think anything would be lost by adding one.

Dance Nation_3

One of the best parts of Steppenwolf is being able to see great actors play so many different roles and really see their acting range. This is a very strong ensemble piece. Each actor has their time to shine. Audrey Francis (The Doppelganger, You Got Older) is excellent as Mom and Vanessa, a dancer who doesn’t make it past the first performance. Caroline Neff (You Got Older, Linda Vista) is great as Zuzu, a surprising choice for a dance solo. Tim Hopper (Downstate, Linda Vista) is hilariously serious as the dance teacher. Karen Rodriguez (La Ruta, The Rembrandt) is powerful as Amina, the best dancer who is uncomfortable in that position. Ariana Burks, Adithi Chandrashekar, Shanesia Davis, Torrey Hanson, and Ellen Maddow are all fantastic as the rest of the dance team.

Dance Nation_1

Get tickets now for Dance Nation through February 2!

 

Cost of a ticket: $56 and up

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It

Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

 

Quinn Delaney

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