Therapeutic Indie ‘The David Dance’ Makes Overcoming Grief Slow, Dreary Work


On the air, David “Danger Dave” Patrone (Don Scimé), host of the Buffalo radio show Gay Talk, is whip-smart and caustically funny. Outside the studio, he’s timid and sad. The only person he can really talk to is his sister Katie (Antoinette LaVecchia), but early on in this painfully dull film, we learn that she has died and David is only imagining her presence.

In adapting his 2003 play, writer-actor Scimé and director Aprill Winney have devised an elaborate time scheme for David’s story, moving back and forth from his grief-paralyzed present to a few years back, when Katie was making plans to adopt a Brazilian orphan and David was being wooed by Chris (Guy Adkins), his tech on the show.

There are brief, awkwardly performed stops in David’s and Katie’s teen years, but all the heavy lifting this structure demands seems unjustified.

Scimé and Adkins have real chemistry, but the script is forever cutting back to quirky, talkative Katie, and any chance of exploring the complexities of a relationship between two men, one of whom is intractable, is lost. Which may be just as well, since Winney stages Chris and David’s love scenes with the chaste good taste of a 1970s TV movie — sweaters on, lots of hugging.

The David Dance

Directed by Aprill Winney

Brave Lad Films

Opens October 14, Cinepolis Chelsea Cinemas