Mark Shelby Perry

Seven Sins

Reviewer's Rating

Welcome to Company XIV, the lavish baroque burlesque amalgam of everything titillating. After taking on classics from Alice in Wonderland to The Nutcracker, they are serving up a veritable smorgasbord with their latest adaptation: Seven Sins, a retelling of the fall of Adam and Eve.

The “Seven Sins” theme lends itself perfectly to the episodic nature of the show. We begin in the Garden of Eden with the creation of Adam (Scott Schneider) and then Eve (Danielle Gordon), to their temptation, to their being expelled from the Garden. Outside the softly-lit paradise where ballet is the prevailing form of communication, Adam and Eve find themselves being drawn into a different world entirely. Each Sin – Vanity, Wrath, Lust, Jealousy, Sloth, Greed, and Gluttony – is its own musical number, complete with soaring vocals, soaring acrobats, and scandalously-clad demons of all sorts. And of course, it is all being overseen by – and emcee’d by – none other than the Devil herself (Amy Jo Jackson).

Seven Sins is utterly saccharine and delicious, dripping with sensory pleasure with every new act. Perhaps what makes it so is creator and director Austin McCormick’s delight in leaning into the most obvious of associations – and with a story as culturally ingrained as the Bible, there are plenty to be had. Green light floods the room during Jealousy. Adam and Eve meet and perform their first pas-de-deux to Dean Martin’s “If You Were The Only Girl In The World,” and they are tempted to the hilariously apt Cherry Poppin’ Daddies song “Here Comes The Snake,” as a giant and impossibly long prop snake is paraded through the audience. Gluttony is choreographed to George Harrison’s “Piggies,” with all the performers sporting Carnevale-esque piggy masks.

Though you can practically predict what the next act will look like, the performers of Company XIV take your expectations and run with them each time. Take, for example, Marcy Richardson’s breathtaking “Money” (by Cardi B) sung in an operatic soprano, all while swinging from a pole for Greed. Or Pretty Lamé’s stunning rendition of Habanera for Jealousy, setting the mood for the jawdropping aerial acrobatics (Troy Lingelbach, Nolan McKew) above the audience. With fresh delights for every act, each sin showcases the unique talents of the company. There is original music by Lexxe; the gorgeous and classical dancing of Adam and Eve; the spectacular tap-dancing which makes Wrath one of the most fun of the Sins to watch. In short, the entire company is made up of wildly talented performers who shine in whatever costume or character they are put into.

Scott Schneider and Danielle Gordon, the Adam and Eve of the performance I attended, perfectly encapsulate the meek and well-intentioned couple who slowly find themselves succumbing to the pleasures offered to them by Amy Jo Jackson’s fabulously dressed Devil. And really, who wouldn’t? The quiet world in which Adam and Eve danced sweet pas-de-deuxs together pales in comparison with the full-blown musical numbers accompanied by sequins, glitter, Victorian corsets, pasties, and all the sensuous temptation of the court of the Sun King. Can you be blamed if each of the Seven Sins only makes you want to dive in deeper? Can Adam and Eve?