Wednesday evening marked the return of Jardin aux Lilas after several years absence. Julie Kent, as anticipated, was the perfect Caroline and conveyed the character’s helplessness and dread of entering into a marriage of convenience. Cory Stearns, in yet another role for which he is not ready, was Caroline’s lover. He didn’t embarrass himself, but he simply was unconvincing as Kent’s romantic interest. Other than Kent, herself, the highlights of the performance were Roman Zhurbin and Kristi Boone as The Man She Must Marry and An Episode in His Past, respectively. As Martine van Hamel did in years past, Boone portrayed this character as an unapologetic woman who indeed could have been an episode in the pasts of many men. A very strong performance.
Also on the program was Company B which featured nobody and everybody. Herman Cornejo, Craig Salstein, Arron Scott and Simone Messmer were highlights of a tremendous ensemble performance that integrated the lightness into the darkness of the 1940s war period.
The final piece was Twyla Tharp’s Brief Fling with the first rate cast lead by Paloma Herrera and Marcelo Gomes. These two ripped through the Tharpian nonsense with glamour, mock seriousness, and dazzling technique. Yes, the choreography and the mixed music has a dated feel to it, but Haglund never tires of seeing Herrera and Gomes romp through anything Tharp.