Holidays take on a Memphis attitude
> Scenes from ‘Pre-sent Pres-ent’ represent eclectic scenes of city
Special to The Commercial Appeal
If you believe the true meaning of the holidays is embodied by the inimitable Sister Myotis, then you’ll have a fine time greeting the season with “Pre-sent Pres-ent.” Say Amen!
It’s the eighth installment of the singing-dancing-acting collaboration of Voices of the South and Project: Motion, and this version — “Home for the Holidays” — has all the piquant flavor of Memphis.
It’s a mixed stocking — some of the scenes satisfy better than others, but then again, so do some of the presents you find under the tree. Sometimes it’s a re-gifted fruit cake, sometimes a Red Ryder air rifle.
There are some terrific dance numbers, including an homage to the Memphis Roller Derby culture, and “I Can See Your House From Here” by Sarah Ledbetter.
Jenny Odle Madden is in typically witty and wry form in “Leftovers” to the music of Peggy Lee’s “Is That All There Is?” Madden’s partnership with Jerre Dye is surely one of the more creative pairings as this clever look at one Southern woman’s holiday angst attests.
One of the best acts is “Matter,” a performance piece written and performed by Latrelle Bright. Using dance, multimedia and audience participation, Bright asks some provocative and wide-ranging questions about our own Earth.
Linking it all together is Sister Myotis, the character destined for superstardom ( just ask her) played by Steve Swift. The good sister emcees the program with homilies, reminders to do good, and presents. Yes, if you’re lucky, you might get a nutcracker or a pizza or even a burger from Huey’s.
Cap that off with Sister M telling the tale of the Cirque du Nativity, and you just might split your sides laughing. Say Amen!
Steve Swift plays Sister Myotis in the play “Pre-sent Pres-ent” at TheatreWorks, linking the various parts of the production together as emcee.