Review: ‘The Last Class: A Jazzercise Play’ at The Klunch

Practice your “Diva Pose” and head down to The Last Class: A Jazzercise Play before it’s too late! The Klunch presents this production by Dodo Theater Collective, and directed by Margot Bordelon. It is currently playing at the Logan Fringe Art Space Trinidad Theatre, which is a wonderful space. There’s a lovely outdoor seating area, as well as a fully stocked bar inside with cozy seating. I highly recommend showing up early to hang out and grab a drink, but not too early, because the space doesn’t open until an hour before the show.

L to R: Amy Staats and Megan Hill in ‘The Last Class: A Jazzercise Play.’ Photo by Reid Thompson.
L to R: Amy Staats and Megan Hill in ‘The Last Class: A Jazzercise Play.’ Photo by Reid Thompson.

The Last Class: A Jazzercise Play tells the story of a jazzercise instructor dealing with the decline of jazzercise in favor of Zumba. It is set in the frame of a single jazzercise class, so it is only an hour-long show. That being said, the story is surprisingly rich and gripping for such a short time and such a simple set up. The whole creative team clearly “got” jazzercise. From instructor Kelsea (Megan Hill) showing up in a bedazzled jean jacket to the over-the-top enthusiasm of the instructors, it was very recognizable.

Lighting Designer David C. Ghatan made some very effective choices for the show. For most of the play it was simple lighting you would imagine in a dance studio. As the play went on and the character Kelsea dug deeper, the lighting was used to distinguish between her in-head, personal moments, and reality.

Palmer Hefferan’s sound design was seamless throughout the show. The volume of the music never over-powered the speaking, yet was still easy to hear. Also, the music selection was perfect. The new, “hip” songs were exactly what would be played in a workout dance class today. Sarita Lou’s choreography, as well, was great. It was so representative of the style.

I must also give a lot of credit to Megan Hill who was the playwright as well as a lead character.

The Last Class: A Jazzercise Play was laugh-out-loud funny. The whole audience was clearly enjoying themselves. Personally, I loved the very quotable script, with such fantastic lines as, “Do you know what Zumba is? Jazzercise’s slutty little sister.” It is important to note here that it is absolutely an adult show with a good deal of adult language. This was certainly part of the humor of the play.

Megan Hill and her co-star Amy Staats (MJ) were fabulous. Their chemistry was strong, and they came in with a clear history and dynamic that gave the play excellent texture. They managed to show a complex relationship that went through a journey of its own in only an hour. These women turned jazzercise into a beautiful piece about the unavoidable changes we go through in life and how some people deal with them – or don’t –  as the case may be.

The two class participants, Melissa Bustamante and Christina Ruppert on Friday, were excellent as well. They were not just fillers or passive participants. Bustamante and Ruppert each had distinctive attitudes and perspectives on the class, which only added to the production’s richness.

Simply put, I had a great time at The Last Class: A Jazzercise Play. I went with one of my girlfriends, and we had a great time. I do wish that the run was longer.

I highly recommend making time this weekend to see it.

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The Last Class: A Jazzercize Play has 3 More Performances Only!
Saturday, August 20th at 3 PM
Saturday, August 20th at 8 PM
Sunday, August 21st at 3 PM

Running Time: 60 minutes, with no intermission.

The Last Class: A Jazzercise Play plays through tomorrow, Sunday. August 21, 2016 at Fringe Logan Arts Space’s Trinidad Theatre – 1358 Florida Ave NE, in Washington D.C. For tickets, call (866) 811-4111, buy them at the box office, or purchase them online.

Meet Amy Staats from ‘The Last Class: A Jazzercize Play’ Tonight Through Sunday at The Klunch at Trinidad Theatre by Joel Markowitz.

Meet Playwright Megan Hill from ‘The Last Class: A Jazzercize Play’ Tonight Through Sunday at The Klunch at Trinidad Theatre by Joel Markowitz.

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[Note: Here are directions to The Trinidad Theatre. It is a 20+ minute walk from the The Noma-Gallaudet U/New York Ave Metro Station on the Red Line.]



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