Thursday, October 18, 2007

"D'Arc: Woman On Fire" : ☼ ☼ ☼ BANG baub

Amanda Moody and Footloose want you to approach Moody's one-woman show "D'Arc" with aloof hipness. The set is sparse, there's an electronic cellist in high heels on the stage and the fellow two seats down is asleep before the show starts. But it's hard to remain aloof with Amanda Moody -- she's Too Darn Hot.

With bright red hair and a rapturous smile, she opens as Joan of Arc, with a thick French accent, sallying into battle on her horse; she then morphs into a mother sounding like she's from Little Neck, Queens, who is desperately trying to locate her missing daughter Joan; and the daughter herself, a do-gooder who has disappeared somewhere in Afghanistan, where she was attempting to teach beauty tips to local burka-wearing women. A box wrapped in white paper drops from the ceiling at some point, as Moody takes us back and forth, from character to character, filling out her story and making us sweat, as we keep wondering WHAT IS IN THE DAMNED BOX?

'Hip Show' usually just means 'weird sophomoric music,' but D'Arc's music, composed by Jay Cloidt, has intriguing depth. It helps that Moody is a trained singer and superb performer. Indeed, one gets into the car afterwards singing "Everyone Burns, Everyone Burns," and it may not be all that uplifting but you do exit singing.

D'Arc is an excellent and thought-provoking show, very much worth seeing and bringing your friends along. Arrive with your own chocolate, though, because the show is an hour and a half long with no intermission. When they lop ten minutes off the ending, D'Arc will be even stronger and the guy two seats down may wake up.

RATINGS: ☼ ☼ ☼ BANG baub

SF Theater Blog awards "D'Arc: Woman on Fire" three stars for Moody's story and performance, plus one Bangle for the way she stomps incomprehensibly off stage, down the stairs and out the front door with a loud slam -- and the show isn't even over! -- and one Bright Bauble for when they shorten the ending -- it's over when the door slams, folks.

Three Stars, A Bangle and a Bauble for D'Arc and a long round of applause in both English and French.

Shotwell Studios: 3252-A 19th St (upstairs)
Fri-Sat through Oct 27 $12-$20

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