Mr. Crappy Sugar vs. Ms. Good For You
‘Dancing at the Supermarket’ a Comic Feast For a Good CauseBy Anna Kuperstein
Dancing at the Supermarket
At the Sign of the Pierrot Theatre and Dance Company
Hill House, 74 Joy Street
June 21, 8 p.m.
The warring sects of the Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs and the Fiber Oat Bran Flakes met on Saturday night at Hill House in Boston. The clash of the cereals took place in a small gymnasium -- Mr. Crappy and Ms. Good For You, members of the At the Sign of the Pierrot Theatre and Dance Company, argued over the value of tooth-rotting sugar and tasteless bran flakes.
The fiasco in the cereal aisle was one of more than ten scenes in the company’s production of “Dancing at the Supermarket: A Comic Feast.” Over the course of an hour, the company explored the hysterical, the unbearable, and the simply unimaginable things that can happen between the aisles of your local supermarket. The scenes ranged from the familiar (the elderly, wheezing woman convinced she’s got another coupon for those tissue boxes somewhere in her purse) to the extraordinary (a man sweeping the floors at closing time who lets three pregnant women with a wicked pickle craving in for a bite).
As always, the obligatory love story gave the tale timeless proportions. The romance between a picky Contessa and the average shopping man blossomed -- with the help of semi-divine intervention -- over an unsweetened bar of baker’s chocolate, and young love propelled the two into a duet to the music of Josephine Baker. Dancers appeared in the rhumba, the tango, and yes, even the Macarena, accompanied by mostly Latino and French songs, with a bit of Pink Floyd, Elton John, and the Shirelles thrown in the mix.
The producer, Dan Miranda, turned out to be one of my favorites from the cast. The sight of a man my father’s age in a white suit doing the twist to Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock” was a rare, hilarious, and absolutely precious moment. In a later scene, Miranda, donning a beret and bearing baguettes, took the stage in a timely mockery of French chefs that brought me back to the scene from The Little Mermaid, when the very large, mustached, pompous Frenchman almost cooks Sebastian for dinner.
As Miranda explained in the first minutes of the show, “We’re here to, one, amuse ourselves, two, amuse you, and three, raise money for two charities.” The company certainly accomplished the first task. This is a group of people who clearly love working with each other, and, as a non-profit ensemble, all they really have is the satisfaction of putting on a fun show. As for the second item, check! In the middle of the Macarena, the cast pulled the few members in the audience up to join in the dancing. After watching half of the show, I couldn’t resist.
The company’s third priority is arguably their most important. So far, the company has raised $11,000 for the Boston Medical Center, Children’s AIDS Funds, and another organization helping homeless women living with AIDS or HIV.
If you’re looking for a professional show, this isn’t the one for you. But if you want to see a local group in action or donate money to a worthy cause (and get a bonus show on top of it), At the Sign of the Pierrot is not a bad choice.