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Chock full of latexy goodness

By Clarissa Stark

Section: Arts

March 23, 2007

The lights flashed once and a scream echoed through Levin Ballroom. I was sitting close enough to see every potential Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction. This was going to be good.

Beginning stunningly at only eight minutes after eight, this years Liquid Latex lived up to the legend that is Liquid Latex. Only this year, it was even better. Not only did the show begin early enough to actually be ahead of schedule – even on Brandeis time – but also it didnt pull an Academy Awards and last forever. Dont get me wrong, I like naked people prancing around in fabulously painted-on clothes, but I cant exactly sit still for three hours. You can have too much of a good thing, and this years show gave us all just enough to want a little bit more, clocking in at under two hours a perfect place to grand finale it and call it a night.

The show got rolling with a fight scene between Bad Grammars Misha Miller-Sisson 07 and Ben Sandler 07. Immediately following their scuffle, two very sexy lady pirates, Rachel Goldstein and Emily Robinson, burst onto the scene to the tune of the techno version of the music from Pirates of the Caribbean which had me dancing in my embarrassingly-close-to-the-stage seat. The dancing wasnt perfectly rehearsed and on par, but this isnt So You think You Can Dance either. It certainly was high energy and fun, making it a good number to start the show with. Plus, the pirate booty turned out to be free condoms thrown at the audience, thus allowing everyone to share in the latex fun. Thus spreading the latex around to the audience as well.

The next act brought back some nostalgia and reminded me of those better days when the Spice Girls ruled the world. Plus its always comforting to know that some things will never be forgotten – I can at least still proudly remember all 5 spices more than a decade later better than I will ever be able to recall all seven dwarfs. This dance tracked the tumultuous drama that was the Spice Girls, mixing together the catchy singles that you still cant get out of your head, and featured a cameo by David Beckham, better known as Jefferson Arak 07. Each Spice Girl played her particular brand of Spice to a T, and I particularly enjoyed the sing/dance off between Ginger Spice, aka Saara Johnson 07, Sporty Spice, Lisa Borten 07 and Scary Spice, Lauren Abramowitz 07.

The best dance by far, and the one that stole the show, was A Midsummer Nightmare, designed by Leah Berkenwald 07. Featuring Tim Burton characters like Jack and Sally, from The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Corpse Bride, as well as Edward Scissorhands and Beatlejuice, everyone involved with this dance did an amazing job. The painting was exquisite. When Alain Ackerman 08 appeared onstage, walking just as Jack does, he absolutely was Jack, covered almost head to toe in latex. Susan Chopnick 08 as Sally had arguably the best paint job which out of this bunch is really saying something. Ondi Gottesman 07 looked and acted the part of the Corpse Bride beautifully, having turned blue whatever exposed skin hadnt yet rotted away, as her left leg had done, sporting a bone (just like the real Corpse Bride). Edward Scissorhands might just as well have actually been Johnny Depp he looked so realistic and altogether the dance left me dazzled, as Jack and Sally, and Ed and the Corpse Bride waltzed away to the music from Edward Scissorhands, while Beetlejuice made the ending perfect with a little bit of falling snow or paper hold punches. Yeah, its not free condoms, but its still free circles, and that was good enough for me.

After intermission, Little Mary Sunshine brought back the show innocently enough to end in an orgy, as at least one dance should every year. Liquid Latex is about sex, after all. Plus this was the only performance I have ever seen that featured a wardrobe change. From cheerleader uniforms during the opening number of Hey Mickey to dominatrix-wear for Jonathan Larsons Contact, it was a smooth transition without any accidental or intentional nakedness. Although there were plenty of blatant crochshots, and who doesnt love that? The gentlemen sitting near me to the left of the stage sure seemed to appreciate it.

The next dance began with a bang bang, literally, followed by some fantastic zombie dancing and strobe light action. Michael Castellanos 10 made a particularly fabulous zombie. The painter, Julia Sferlazzo 09, also did an especially good job on this crowd of the undead, making them colorful but ghoulish.

Going back up a couple paragraphs to that mention of the seven dwarves brings me to my next honorable mention, the dance better known as The Disney Princesses. This one was truly one for the ladies, which is only fair as the dance preceding it, Espalada de la Luna, was pretty much for the men six girls in matching, somewhat boring black designs dancing and being, well, hot. Not that the princesses werent hot because they certainly were but they were also much more entertaining. The painters also did a fabulous job on the ladies;

the princes however werent important enough to deserve latex, which did make for some hilarious costumes, notably the Beast. He wore a furry tiger-cat mask that was ridiculous, and therefore amazing. Aladdin was also noteworthy, even if he did end up looking a little more like Apu. But in true Disney fashion, there was a message to this dance, and it was to teach the true meaning of happily ever after. As Snow White showed us, some day my prince will come chasing after me because he wants to get laid. And Aladdin will take you wonder by wonder, over sideways and under and for all you are worth, as the kleptomaniac steals necklaces, bracelets, and anything else shiny that he can get his grubby little hands on. The princess see the light, and ditch their lame guys and poofy, princessy skirts to the female empowerment anthem that is Destinys Childs Independent Women. The End, and nicely done ladies.

The show ended on a Zorro note. The detailing on the corsets amazed me, probably because I was sitting up close enough to appreciate the fact that it really looked like stitching and lace, but other than that the plot was a little over my head. It seemed like Zorro and his girl versus their evil foils, subtly disquised in black and red so as to hide their true intentions. The best part was that foils were actually involved, as the scene broke out into swordfighitng, thus adding some cohesiveness to the show and coming full circle from the pirate swordfights of the first dance. In the end, the heroine Diane Ma 09 was stabbed and Zorro was sad, causing a tender, almost Full House-like aww moment from the audience but then everyone got up and pranced about for the cast call. One girl came back with her latex malfunction quickly patched up with the help of some Scotch tape. Such is the nature of latex. Its temporary, but shiny, colorful and oh-so-fun.

And even though its gone now, it will always be back next year. What more could a girl want to look forward to?

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