“DANCING THROUGH LIFE” AT THE LAURIE BEECHMAN THEATRE
It’s easy to find big Broadway-type productions in gorgeous old theaters carrying hefty ticket prices. But what’s harder to unearth are the off-Broadway gems, those rare performances that come through the city for a night or two every couple of months.
Judi Mark is one of those rare gems, bringing her one woman show, “Dancing Through Life,” to Times Squares’ Laurie Beechman Theatre, at 7 p.m. on May 20.
Judi’s autobiographical show combines song, dance and select film clips to pay homage to the ladies who danced on Broadway and the Silver Screen — Ginger Rogers, Gwen Verdon, Chita Rivera, Carmen Miranda, Donna McKechnie and more.
“It’s a fun, uplifting good time. People walk away from the show feeling happy, singing songs in their heads,” said Judi, who has performed in shows in New York and throughout the U.S., danced with the American Ballet Company, later teaching dance in the New York City school system. Creating her own show, “Dancing Through Life” is a dream she’s always wanted to pursue. But it hasn’t been easy. She tested the show in Florida before bringing it to select audiences in New York. She’s in a different venue every few days, having to readjust for different stages and venues. “As a teacher, I taught five dance classes, five days a week, and sometimes up to 250 students a day. So taking care of the business side and the creative side of running a one woman show doesn’t seem as hard in comparison.”
Having spent her career deeply entrenched in both worlds – the teacher and the performer – she has a creative vision she’s excited to finally bring to the stage. She knows she can’t perform every dance number the same way she did in exactly the same way as when she was, say, 25. But like anything else in life, she knows the key to success is hard work.
“I listen to my body. I take dance class or yoga daily, practice and sing with my vocal teacher, have sessions with my acting coach, director and musical director. It’s a lot of work but this is my passion. I’m living my dream. I love that after every show, people come up to me and tell me how much I motivate them. Really, I get my motivation from them. Performing is a privilege.”