Review: ‘Slumber’, your bloodiest sexy dream

Asya Danilova

  • Associate New York Theatre Critic

Looking to experience something scary and exciting to boost your Halloween spirit? Check out “Slumber”, the circus and dance show at the House of Yes in Brooklyn. Don’t dress up too fancy if you are planning on sitting next to the stage, some blood, which flows abundantly during the performance, might spill on you. Watch how the beautiful and deadly nightmare of a young girl becomes a reality and her friend starts to slit open the throats, stomachs and wrists of her girlfriends one by one.  

The cast of incredibly talented performers challenges the limits of human physical abilities, featuring a contortionist, Olga Karmansky, silks and trapeze performers,  Anya Sapozhnikova and Melissa Aguerre, aerialist Joren Dawson, and dancers  Bokyung Park and Lisa Sainvil. Lee Hubilla narrates in between killing people and taking selfies. Set to the electro-pop soundtrack from artists such as Halsey, the Chainsmokers and Terror Jr, the show is lit like a party at a nightclub with strobes and neon spotlights.       

Choreography, by husband-and-wife team Keone and Mari Madrid, smartly uses the strengths of the performers to narrate through dance and circus numbers. The show opens with a captivating and sexy dream sequence in which the cast, all dressed in white underwear, start rolling around in a single bed in the middle of the stage and then extend the action to the podium in the center aisle. Sapozhnikova and Aguerre perform a routine on the silks hung above the crowed. The use of welding art on the wall behind the bar, as well as silks and aerial straps above the seated audience, smartly expands the performing space and creates a sense of doubled danger and excitement – not only for the performer (like it is in traditional circus) but also for you.

The Chinese pole routine performed by Joren Dawson seduces, not only the members of the female squad, but the audience as well, with its playful strength. This flirting soon exceeds the limit of Lee Hubilla’s comfort and balances on a razor’s edge of fun and assault. The smart and risky direction of Lyndsay Magid and Josh Aviner keeps you intrigued for a while but then Lee Hubilla takes the stage and this is where things begin to fall apart. As cute and charismatic as she is, she becomes redundant and repeats herself a lot. All of a sudden you find yourself in the middle of a not-so-funny standup comedy act and your cheeks are in pain from polite smiling.                                     
Although unbalanced due to excessive use of dialogue with the audience, “Slumber” is still worth catching while it is running in the House of Yes. The solo number of Olga Karmansky, where her recently killed body is testing out its limbs and joints, or the “cocaine trip” of the trapeze duo Anya Sapozhnikova and Melissa Aguerre, is worth the trip. 

“Slumber” is produced by Hideaway and runs through November 6th in the House of Yes at 2 Wyckoff Avenue, Brooklyn. Attendees must be 21 years of age or older. For more information and tickets visit Photo by John Dolan.