It’s one of the vanities of the young to believe that one’s own generation has discovered corruption, when each generation simply rediscovers it. In 1927 Kurt Weill wrote Mahagonny-Songspiel in collaboration with Bertolt Brecht; in the late 60s the Doors covered a song from this avant-garde opera; and in 1981 Shirley Mordine used the music as the setting for her voluptuous Songspiel, a dance that revels in corrupt sexual stereotypes in order to lambaste them. Mordine revived the piece in 1988, when I saw it; a deliberately, outrageously theatrical work, it employs a flamboyant emcee (Mordine herself) to direct the festivities, which, however wild, seem singed by despair. It should be wonderful to see Mordine’s current crop of dancers–Ruth Page Award-winner Dardi McGinley Gallivan, Tatiana Sanchez, Krenly Guzman, newcomers Andrew Amos and Tracee Westmoreland, and former company member Scott Putman–re-create this piece, which provides both a sense of history and a very contemporary kind of buzz. Also on the program: a new piece by Mordine set to Bach, a quintet said to be based on images from the book Einstein’s Dreams and the instinctual movements of animals. The company offers a free preview performance Wednesday at 12:15 in the auditorium of the Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State; call 312-747-4800 for information. Regular performances Thursday, May 1, through next Saturday, May 3, at 8 at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport; $15. Call 773-989-3310 for tickets and information, 312-902-1500 for tickets.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Uncredited photo.