Stuck In a Bank, Stuck in a Life

It's a bank robbery gone wrong. The hostages have freed themselves from the rope that was holding them and are dancing with Heistman's henchmen. A detective is speaking to Heistman, the leader of the robbery, from a bullhorn, telling him the place is surrounded and that there is no escape. Yet, through it all, Heistman has the time to wax poetic on the meaning of happiness and love and fear. El Gato Teatro's Heistman is a beautiful and dense piece of dance theater. The music is pounding and catchy. The costumes are bright and skimpy. The movement is jerky, almost as if the characters are unsure of what they are meant to be doing. Heistman initially directs his henchman, telling them when to go, how to move, but seems to lag behind near the end, following instead of leading. Is this because the game is up? Or because he has found a deeper meaning in all this? The show is short, barely an hour, and leaves many questions. Did Heistman succeed? The detective informs him that he did a good job, but in the end, who is calling the shots, the henchman, the hostages, or Heistman?

Heistman is entertaining at the same time that it is thought-provoking. Anyone can get stuck somewhere, trapped in their own thoughts, trapped in an unfriendly situation. Life often backfires, and it is comforting to know that even if things do not go as planned, there is usually a way out. It's particularly nice if that way out includes catchy music and dance.

Heistman is playing as part of Soho Think Tank's Ice Factory 2008.

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