Review by Jen Bush
Shadows tells the story of ill-fated love both past and present. We meet Claire, a stunning metropolitan woman in an unfulfilling marriage. She has an apartment that has been in her family for a long while. She works with hunky and married real estate agent Alex to sell the apartment. The sparks fly between these two and they begin a torrid and steamy affair. The presence of spirits permeates the apartment and things begin to go bump in the night. A picture falls off the wall. The Scarlett Letter continues to fly off the bookshelf and most unsettling of all, the bed moves with the characters in it. Infidelity seems to run in the family as we learn more about Claire’s roots. As Claire and Alex’s relationship progresses their hearts beat strong for each other but the complications that doom this pairing are stronger. It’s odd to find yourself rooting for two individuals engaging in infidelity but the way they were portrayed, they seemed to belong with each other more than they belonged with their respective spouses. In the end, familial secrets are revealed and the fate of these two lovers is sealed with a twist. It is indeed a dance musical. Claire and Alex each break into song at opportune times. Beautiful and haunting dance sequences accent the unfolding story.
The first thing you notice when the lights go down is the gorgeous and lush jewel toned set. There is lots of purple and red. A grandfather clock makes a beautiful accent and the oversized bed is well used during the performance. Sheryl Liu did an outstanding job making the set aesthetically pleasing and aligned with the theme of the show. The brilliant lighting designs of Brian Nason served to enhance the already gorgeous set. Christopher Vergara nicely rounded out the design team to make the actors look their very best with wonderful style and color choices.
The story is very tragic however, the exuberance of the actors softens the blow of the sad narrative. The intermittent scares will distract you from the storyline. I guarantee you’ll jump when the things go bump.
The leads were stellar. Janine Divita played Claire. Ms. Divita is a beautiful woman with mesmerizing energy and fine acting and singing chops. Her portrayal allowed the audience to get very emotionally involved with the Claire. John Arthur Greene was equally stellar with a voice that was off the charts. It was not surprising to learn he has many musicals under his belt and was a featured artist in American Idol. He gave a very strong and conflicted portrayal of Alex and both actors injected a lot of fun into their dynamic with each other. The only thing that was difficult to buy was the stated age difference between Claire and Alex. Claire was supposed to be significantly older than Alex but didn’t look it at all.
The dancers Irina Dvorovenko, Waldemar Quinones, Naomi Kakuk, Nickemil Concepcion, Kyreed Jordan and Omar Nieves were positively majestic, captivating and emotional. Their grace and beauty made time stop. The leads also did a bit of dancing at the end of the show that made the audience crave more. They made such lovely acting, singing and dancing partners.
Shadows is a creative and compelling show with a wide-reaching appeal and something for everyone. The story could have stood alone without any dance sequences, but the dancing was what made the show unique and added such grace to it. The tagline to the show is, “How far will you go to keep the one you love?” You might go very far as I hope this show does.