If I were not so mature, maybe I would have been doing the forbidden dirty boogaloo on my birthday, but at the ripe old age of 31, I was happy to simply proselytize Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre’s brilliant and hilarious spoof of dance movies, which I shall now proceed to do on my blog as well:
Riffing on everything from Footloose to Save the Last Dance (with a little HMS Pinafore, Gypsy and West Side Story thrown in for old times’ sake), Boogaloo is populated with such archetypal favorites as The Rich Ballerina Who Wants To Dance Street and The Guy From The Barrio Who’s Dancing For His Dead Brother (which he reminds us of every five minutes before tu
The plot begins as pure parody: The good-but-poor kids at Fantaseez Dance Center must save their community center (which is plastered with “encouraging” posters all too recognizable to those in the nonprofit biz—my favorite was a photo of a wistful looking cat beneath the caption “Try Harder”) from an evil building inspector because, of course, Dancing Is Their Only Way Out. But the story takes a tu
Such a show could easily be a stage version of a Scary Movie-style spoof, a genre I mostly dislike (with the exception of Wet Hot American Summer). It didn’t help that most of the cast could not actually sing or dance all that well (with the exception of Angela Trimbur as Sassy, a sort of ghetto Jessica Simpson who, we lea
But Boogaloo succeeds big time because it’s both more ridiculous and more serious than most spoofs. Beneath the ‘80s breakdancing getups and the five-sock-big dance lumps, there’s an actual theme, which is: What is dancing about? This is a genuine critique of films that suggest dance has everything to do with poverty and passion and nothing to do with training or talent. The characters frequently remind us that dance is about all things good (“
Highlighting the humor of the Fantaseez team are several interstitials by a crew of actual breakdancers. They’re good, they’re unassuming, they’re diverse, they’re not wearing legwarmers…and their performance offers an unspoken explanation of what dance actually is about.
See it for some straight-up good moves or see it for yo-mama jokes performed as Broadway showstoppers. But see it! (And it’s only $10, less than a movie ticket to Step Up 2: The Streets.)