Chicago Dance Crash Kills it in Cotton Mouth Club

Chicago Dance Crash Kills it in Cotton Mouth Club
Chicago Dance Crash in The Cotton Mouth Club (photo by Eddo Photography)

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you could go back in time and do things differently? You'd probably end up with the love of your life and live happily ever after, right?

Chicago Dance Crash finished up their two-week long Cotton Mouth Club production on Sunday--the story of a man and a woman struggling to make it work among the cheating, lying, boozing world of an underground nightclub. Always pumping out fresh concepts, Crash portrayed the same story line twice but in different decades: the roaring 20s and the epic 80s. The first half of the show was set to music by Outkast, the second to king of pop Michael Jackson.

The Cotton Mouth Club opens up to some popping and locking from Father Time himself, setting the first half of the show in a speakeasy with sequins, gangsters and boxes of booze. We're introduced to some fun characters, including Rooster (Robert McKee), the speakeasy owner, and Zora (Mary Tarpley), Rooster's resentful wife. We watch as Rooster gets carried away with the easy life and Zora breaks down and leaves him in a duet that--surprise, surprise--brought tears to my eyes. Tarpley's technical precision is breathtaking, and amplified by what is presumably choreographer Jessica Deahr's vision for her character.

Crash is known for its mashup of styles, and Cotton Mouth's smooth transitions from jazz to hip hop to modern did not disappoint. The show was choreographed by young mastermind/artistic director Jessica Deahr and Robert McKee (with input by Dan Gibson and Brian Hare). For more info on Chicago Dance Crash visit

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