Go Deeper

Preview: Kill Me Now

Posted June 9th, 2009

Fame hungry contestants, sudden death dance offs, overly pretentious judges, winner take all in the fight for the ultimate prize.

Is this some mashup of I Love Money and So You Think You Can Dance? Nope. It’s Kill Me Now, a dance-competition-reality-show-cum-live-theatre performance debuting at the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival this fall.

During the nEW festival last weekend, Melanie Stewart Dance Theatre previewed their immersive show, with text by OBIE Award winner John Clancy.

Entering the theater space, a screen projected video confessionals of Kill Me Now characters. Inspired by reality television participants’ solo exchanges with the camera, the characters shared guilty secrets and deepest desires, creating the base for the performance.

After the jump: my preview of the eclectic, humorous group of over-the-top characters we’ll see in September:

The contestants:

>>Kim McDougle (pictured right): A boisterous, hyperactive, enthusiastic Korean-American with a passion for performing.
>>Nikki Love: From Hoboken, she is the intersection of street sass and dance diva.
>>Tina Marina: Misty Dawn’s mamma; enjoys writhing on and licking the dance floor.
>>Bunny Lance: Somber, pale, driven, with a penchant for serious drama.
>>Dexter Allen Anderson: That guy who really really wants to win and is willing to give “125,000%” of himself in order to prove it.
>>Allan Aarons: Bright, lime green pants.

The judges:

>>Rita Zborovskaya (pictured right): The Belorussian. Because everybody needs one.
>>Sarah Manning: Says too much without saying anything at all.
>>Nigel Bruce Hancock: Oversexed, overly hairsprayed, overly confident judge with an artistic flair for competitive dance and horizontal tangos.
>>Tomas Lana: Suave, shirtless Latino judge who demands to see some “Ruumbaaa.”
>>Dixie Crystal: All-woman judge who is NOT a drag queen, despite the rumors.
>>Jerry Rogers: Pretentious, egotistical Broadway actor turned reality TV judge who’s been in West Side Story five times and challenges his contestants to do the same.

The characters churned through four rounds of competition: sudden death; the dance of audience seduction; movement and interpretation; and the final round. Ultimately, the Host, speaking for us all, demanded, “Who wants it the most? Whose desire burns the brightest?” Sadly, we have to wait until September to find out who will win Kill Me Now and who will be revealed as “the secret loser they have always been.”

In the meantime, check out the juicy drama leading up to the competition as it unfolds on Facebook. You can get familiar with the characters as they snipe, gossip, and build their histories, adding layers to the show for those in the know.

P.S. – The Kill Me Now T-shirt design by by Michelle D’Avella is nice, right? You’ll have a chance to buy them soon, promise.

–Jennifer Burrini

T-shirt illustration by Michelle D’Avella.
Photos by Alan Kolc.