Wwhatever Happened to Baby Jane

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bette davis, what ever happened to baby jane, hocus pocus, halloween films, hocus pocus cast

What artistic mayhem transpires when you pair up a cult classic film with a legendary ballet? A few good turns on the dance floor, dark humor, and a sadistic premise that knocks you over the head too many times (just like the hammer in the final act).

But subtlety rarely figures into the repertoire of choreographer Myron Johnson and Ballet of the Dolls. "Whatever Happened to ... Swan Lake?" carries on the troupe's commitment to boldly celebrating the irreverent. And there's plenty of it in this remount of a 1991 work.

Joan Crawford and Bette Davis set the standard for scenery-chewing performance in 1962's "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" Johnson transfers their roles to a pair of ballerinas: Blanche White (Stephanie Karr-Smith) and her sister, Jane (Stephanie Fellner). Blanche is beloved by all and wins the lead in "Swan Lake." Jane is overlooked, even failing in her attempt to seduce company director Serge (Robert Skafte).

When Blanche suffers a suspicious career-ending accident, Jane breaks into a sinister smile and bows to an audience that she is certain will finally be hers alone. She evolves into a deluxe diva and steals her sister's former partner, Siegfried (Michael DeLeon). But the wheelchair-bound Blanche remains everyone's favorite, and Jane is no longer just jealous, she's brutally abusive toward her sister.

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