by Paula Citron
There is good news and bad news about Florence Gibson and Shawn Byfield’s ambitious I Think I Can – a dance theatre for young people told through tap dancing. The teacher speaks and the students dance. The play explores bullying, working together, and science – all worthy subjects.
The positives are the characterizations thanks to director Conrad Alexandrowicz, the dance sequences thanks to choreographer Byfield, and Julia Tribe’s whimsical costumes and science projects.
What doesn’t work is Melody Johnson as both an inept teacher with an impenetrable Scottish accent and a silent father. That the teacher is an unjust buffoon sends mixed messages to a student audience. The teacher should be played straight, even though she makes mistakes and accuses the wrong student. Gibson has also put in too much science-babble.
Aside from the dead zones, the kids in the audience seemed to enjoy the dancing.
I Think I Can continues until May 13.
From the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.