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last night's gig

Madonna, Fischerspooner, and That Old ‘Downtown’ Idea

In our interview yesterday with Casey Spooner, in which he discussed collaborating with the Wooster Group on Fischerspooner’s new performances, he said, “We only worked with them for two weeks, so it’s very rudimentary what we’re doing — I don’t want to tarnish their reputation by my pale imitation of an homage to them.” So how was last night’s Music Hall of Williamsburg show, only the second on their tour for Entertainment, and the first of a stand that continues tonight at Webster Hall? Hardly rudimentary, my dear. Let’s dispose first of the big news: Madonna was in attendance (hanging off of some man, Lourdes knows who).

Spooner, surely to her dismay, made Madonna’s presence known — probably mischievously, as he also asked, seemingly with mock surprise, where she’d gone to once the set was over. (Madge ducked out after a few songs.) So what new material might she have gathered for her own live show? We were too busy attempting to move in rhythmic patterns to jot down any notes, but with four dancers (in a variety of often shiny costumes), two stand-up mirrors, two flat-screens, and a large video projection, the crew created an ultraenergetic, unapologetically arty, but resolutely playful stage show.

There were layers — layers upon layers — but everything cohered, centered as it all was around the choreography, which had the dancers not just whirling and jerking around, but grinning maniacally and making other great faces. Spooner, part pop star, part rock star, part conductor, wove himself in and out of the action, resplendent in … outfits of various sorts. But above all, this was a dance party, with bass like an experimental weapon and people who seemed like they’d be interesting to meet. We have no idea what the metaphysical “downtown” was once like, but we’d like to think it resembled last night’s show.

Related: Fischerspooner’s Casey Spooner on Creating Entertainment and His Sweet Neon Hat

Photo: Michael Glenboski