Theater

Dance

by

You could probably use some belly laughs, and choreographer Ivy Baldwin’s got ’em. But don’t expect total escapism: As the paranoid queen in Now Leaving Vanderville, Baldwin has a way of resembling Laura Bush on the verge of breakdown. Her stressed-out subjects—Lawrence Cassella, Taryn Griggs, Mindy Nelson, and Jeanne Schickler, smart, physically fearless dancer-actors all—shuffle to and from stultifying factory jobs, joylessly munch fruit and veggies restricted by color, and speak only queendom-approved words. Imagine the outrage—and bitter revenge—when Queenie is caught chatting up a stuffed duck! Carrie Lewis, with Franz Nicolay on piano and accordion, flavors the proceedings with Kurt Weill songs. The evening’s opener, la table, proffers an alarming appetizer: A tense, manically synchronized duo—Baldwin and Jeanne Schickler—slam and snap their bodies in and out of connection, risking injury to bare toes amid a toppling table and a floor strewn with plastic cutlery.