Broadway's rock whisperer Lorin Latarro gives the Who and Huey Lewis fly (Part-2).

New Jersey native Latarro was motivated to accomplish what she loved from an early age. I always danced. First grade. "I told everyone I'd dance," she recalls. She sometimes skipped school to ride the bus to New York for Broadway Dance Center workshops or shows. She attended 11 “Black and Blue” performances.  

After meeting a dancer, the girls took me backstage and put eyelashes on me. They altered my life with their kindness.” After graduating from Juilliard, she danced in 14 Broadway plays, including “Fosse,” “Swing!,” “A Chorus Line,” and “Movin’ Out.” She joined Robert Wilson, Martha Graham, and MOMIX.  

“I love all kinds of movement and as a dancer, my goal was to never get pigeonholed,” she explains. “My choreographic goal is similar: I don't want a style that looks like one. I prefer movement that tells the story.”  

Bareilles choreographed “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” “Hands on a Hardbody,” and “Waitress,” a 2007 film about a server and pie maker locked in a small-town cafe and a loveless marriage. Latarro performed "Waitress" with three waitresses singing while they added real ingredients to a pie recipe and a group of soon-to-be-delivered women swaying to their infants' heartbeats.  

The protagonist fantasizes of winning a pie baking contest, being tossed a suitcase and clothes to flee, and floating with her beloved in one song. An article on daydreaming inspired Latarro. The audience doesn't want choreography about ingredients and pie cooking. Thinking about what? she asks. “She’s considering leaving her marriage and running away. She's considering kissing this hot doctor. It suddenly unlocked staging.”  

Latarro starts with the text and considers what the characters are feeling and what she needs to say. She listens to music later. Lewis' new musical, “The Heart of Rock and Roll,” failed that formula. Latarro knows every Huey Lewis song word. “I kissed Huey posters on my wall before bed,” she says.  

The performance, about a blue-collar worker trying one final time to become a musician, is based on Lewis' songs “Hip to Be Square” and “If This Is It.” Latarro's dancers jump, sprint, execute stunts, and act crazy and atmospheric. “They get to show off,” Latarro explains. “Their job in this show is to be buoyant and super physical and help with the joy and storytelling.”  

Her former crush admires Latarro. “Watching Lorin work has been just a revelation,” says Lewis. Incredible dancers get high off the ground. Very interesting to watch.”  

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