Monica Bill Barnes & Company presents Happy Hour, a modern dance performance framed within a familiar feeling party. Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass trade their signature sequins and feather headdresses for a pair of everyday men’s suits. Framed by the casual aesthetics of cocktail parties and the inherent failure of karaoke nights, they are two female performers playing the most familiar male characters.
Happy Hour invites audiences to have a drink, laugh at our collective failures, and celebrate our own shortcomings. The show was originally inspired by the act of karaoke — the idea that a person chooses to sing a song that everyone knows the real version of. It’s a brave act because it is destined to fail. But even knowing they will fail, people sign up with incredible hope, maybe a plan, and maybe too much faith in their own ability to break out of the limitations.
This same ridiculous courage is at the heart of this show. Monica and Anna play two utterly ubiquitous male characters. They seem like guys from movies, a famous comic duo, or your uncles who took it too far dancing at your wedding. But as female performers, they can never become these characters. In their persistent failure to become these icons, we can see something more special — two individuals desperate to wrest new meaning from our most familiar ideas of ourselves.
Monica Bill Barnes & Company is a contemporary American dance company under the artistic direction of Monica Bill Barnes. She is joined by a core of long-time collaborators: Associate Artistic Director and performing partner, Anna Bass; Lighting Designer, Jane Cox; Set and Costume Designer, Kelly Hanson; and Creative Producing Director, Robert Saenz de Viteri.
$15 general admission
$10 students and seniors
$7 with UMBC ID (4 pm performance only)
Tickets are available through MissionTix.
Photo: Mallory Lynn.
Open Year Round: