Theater / On and Off Broadway
Blown Sideways to New Jersey
by D.L. Lepidus
Have you ever been to the West Bank Cafe’s cabaret space? My goodness, there’s a lot of activity there. You can see something at 8 PM and then again at 10:30 almost every night of the week before last seeing a funny two-woman show called “Dick’s Island,” when a flier on the wall caught my eye for a show which is apparently quite a sensation at the West Bank and now plays every Tuesday night.
It’s a total delight, written by and starring another total delight named Jill Morley. Whereas in a similar evening Claudia Shear told us how she was blown sideways through life, in Morley’s True Confessions of a Go-Go Dancer,” we learn how she was blown sideways to New Jersey.
Here she tells us , topless dancing is strictly verboten. Nonetheless, there is a thriving “club scene” where girls dance scantily clad, shilling for tips from patrons, hoping against hope for a quick “flash.”
Grotesques to Poignant
In a series of vignettes which alternate from the grotesque to the poignant to the hilarious, Morley takes us right into this fantasy world as she portrays herself, other dancers, bouncers, drivers, club owners, agents, etc. Everything you ever wanted to know about New Jersey sleaze.
Yet this is not a sleazy show. Not by any means. Nor is it angry, as you might expect.
It is, in a strange and moving way, celebratory. Morley has a big heart, which even has room for the kind of guy who would frequent one of these clubs. As a performer, she has a gift for characterization and mimicry. Also, she’s a great dancer.