30-Second Reviews: Ducktails, Tegan and Sara, "RuPaul's Drag Race," Alvin Ailey and More

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Luna Theater presents Lungs

Fri., Feb. 1, the Adrienne Theater. lunatheater.org 

Overall vibe: Wiped clean of artifice, Luna Theatre’s production of Duncan’s Macmillan’s Lungs is a verbose stream-of-consciousness tightrope so cluttered by the anatomy of a life-long love affair that it can only be performed on a barren stage. 

Most memorable moment:
 David Raphaely’s vulnerability knocks down the confining wall of words Charlotte Ford constructs around herself by offering bulldozing one-word responses, like “Enormous” and “enormity.” You’ll think, Oh, so this is how these two people operate as a couple.
Scene stealer: The playwright, Macmillan, who opted to go Thornton Wilder-bold, liberating his language from the confines of context, leaving Lungs universally poignant in the capable hands of actors Ford and Raphaely. (Jessica Foley)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Fri., Feb. 1, the Merriam Theater. alvinailey.org   

Overall vibe: Alvin Ailey formed his revolutionary troupe in 1958 to combat racial stereotyping that kept blacks out of modern dance companies and, even more notably, to craft and develop an alternative aesthetic. The Merriam’s well-heeled audience was treated to an evening of bold dance styles that mixed contemporary moves with classic ones. Thunderous applause for each work—and even a standing ovation at the end—were the hallmarks of the night. 

Most memorable moment: Ailey’s classic Revelations, a look through black history with gospel overtones and poignant choreography that includes nods to the black church, New Orleans-style second line dancing, slavery and the overall struggles of African-Americans.

Scene stealer: The solo dance Takademe, featuring Michael Francis McBride, was both funny, filled with attitude and superbly performed. Robert Battle’s complex choreography conveyed all the energy, heart, soul, fire and glory that Ailey is known for. (Tonya Pendleton)

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