Leave It On The Floor
Torontoist has been acquired by Daily Hive Toronto - Your City. Now. Click here to learn more.


Leave It On The Floor

Sheldon Larry's musical isn't as interesting as the documentary that inspired it, but at times it can still be a ball.

Sheldon Larry (Canada, Canada First!)

Wednesday, September 14, 9 p.m.
Scotiabank Theatre 1 (259 Richmond Street West)

Thursday, September 15, 2:30 p.m.
AMC 6 (10 Dundas Street East)

Sunday, September 18, 8:45 p.m.
Scotiabank Theatre 1 (259 Richmond Street West)

There’s a lot of synchronicity between musicals—the usually flashy, glitzy, and glamorous genre—and the underground ball world as known from Paris Is Burning, where flash, glitz et al. are the name of the game, aside from stereotypical demographics. Certainly this is something that dawned upon Sheldon Larry, who decided to base his song-loaded first feature around the fascinating ball culture. Even with a humble budget and an issue-light mentality, Leave it on the Floor’s sparkle and attitude is something with the potential to shine.

It’s very clear where Larry’s strengths are. While the songs are a bit rusty and overall not-so-catchy, they feel more at home when coupled with the right set of dance moves. Dance choreographer Frank Gatson, Jr. has had a career with Beyonce, so it makes complete sense that scenes are at their best when the songs are at their pop-iest and the dance routines are identical, and maybe even parodying, the music videos of our day and age. Two routines that stand out include a bowling alley–set mockfest of bad swag and worse threads, and when drag pro Princess Eminence (Phillip Evelyn) sings a well-lit bubblegum ballad about the day when Justin Timberlake will finally call his cell for business, pleasure, or both. Leave it on the Floor takes it a bit too easy on the thought that surrounds the culture; alienation and family are touched upon, but the allure to these bombastic balls and the mentality beneath them are unscathed. Perhaps, in the name of bright lights and smooth moves, those were things Larry decided to leave at the door.