Trip of Love Trips the Light Psychedelic

Trip of Love Trips the Light Psychedelic

Trip of Love was like putting a ‘60s playlist on shuffle, consuming something to make you feel good and watching people interpret the music and lyrics through different dance styles. There was no dialogue; just catchy tunes, bright costumes and bodies in motion. (Talented, handsome dancing shirtless men, folks. And talented, beautiful dancing mostly-to-partially clad ladies.)

In the show, we follow Caroline (Kelly Felthous) as she takes a mushroom and finds herself tripping down a pop-fueled rabbit hole. She and her acquaintances experience life and let-downs as they make their way through an era greatly affected by the Civil Rights Movement and the war in Vietnam.

I am such a sucker for dance-heavy shows and Trip of Love delivered. Though the music ranged from uptempo pop and rock songs to slower, softer ballads and political folk songs, I was most excited for the sequences that featured big group numbers. “Wipe Out” was a fun scene with surfing, synchronized swimming and some beachfront bopping. “Downtown” made me smile because it reminded me just how magical being among the hustle and bustle of the big city can be. But my absolute favorite number was “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’.”

As soon as Jennifer (Dionne Figgins) stepped onto the stage in her bright white boots and that oh so familiar intro started up, I grinned. But then, this feminist anthem turned into something more. While Jennifer auditioned for Dance-A-Go-Go, she kept getting overlooked or brushed aside by revolving groups of white dancers. But she persevered and kept auditioning, finally landing a headlining spot on the show (which became a recurring segment throughout Trip of Love as a way to showcase the passage of time and increasing racial inclusiveness).

Although I was born in the ‘80s, I am well aware that the ‘60s was not all fun and games, despite producing some of the most uplifting music of all time. Exotic dancer Crystal (Tara Palsha) sang about being an object of desire (“Venus”) but how she was not someone’s property (“You Don’t Own Me”). And when it came time for going to war, Adam (Austin Miller), George (David Elder) and Peter (Joey Calveri) had to make choices that would affect more than just themselves. Their understated trio of “Blowin’ in the Wind” was a somber reminder of the harsh realities of the draft, enlistment or deserting, and what happened to the people they left behind.

While Trip of Love didn’t have any lines, Angela (Laurie Wells) guided the characters (and audience) through the show. Angela’s mentor-esque presence made it seem like Caroline had someone looking out for her while she was on her journey through the ups and downs of falling in love during this decade of change.

Trip of Love is great for people who want to relive the ‘60s, as well as those of us who are curious to experience it for the first time. You know the songs already, so sit back and watch as their lyrics come alive. Entertaining and sexy, Trip of Love is a fun ride that will leave you smiling and dancing in your seat at Stage 42.

Photo: David Elder, Yesenia Ayala and the cast of Trip of Love, photo by Matthew Murphy

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