It's been five years since audiences last saw modern dance choreographer (and UNC alumna) Jane Comfort's brainy, lyrical and poignant works on a local stage. That's about four years too long ago for those who were haunted by her evocative take on Persephone and the eerie beauty of her Underground River collaboration with Basil Twist. Tonight, Comfort returns in a jocular mood with a revival of 1993's Faith Healing, her brilliant breakout dance theater deconstruction of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie, before the company presents it in New York next week.
This work is probably the perfect bookend for those who caught Triad Stage's jaw-dropping revision of the play last month. It's an even more radical, comic retelling of the Wingfield family saga, which manages to send up televangelists (with a cameo by Jesus), Elvis, Gone With the Wind and the concept of antebellum matriarchy in general. Handling that last item in particular: dancer/ choreographer Mark Dendy, who reprises his infamous cross-gender performance from the original production as Amanda Wingfield, who presides over—and browbeats—son Tom, daughter Laura and a Gentleman Caller who's a lot more than anyone's expecting, in a fusion of film, music, theater and dance. Tickets are $24 or $28. Show's at 8, but catch the preshow conversation with Jane Comfort at 7 p.m. in the Walnut Room. —Byron Woods