Created and Performed by Mihaela Modorcea and Gabriela Modorcea
Off Broadway, Musical
Runs through 5.27.18
Davenport Theatre, 354 West 45th Street
by Asya Danilova on 3.19.18
Gabriela Modorcea and Mihaela Modorcea in Wicked Clone.
BOTTOM LINE: This musical about vampire twin sisters, by actual twins, is in desperate need of fresh air and would be better in a nightclub.
Mihaela Modorcea and Gabriela Modorcea, aka the Indiggo Twins, are women of many talents. Together they wrote, composed, choreographed, and perform in the “cinema-musical” Wicked Clone. Based on Mihaela’s novel Wicked Clone, or How to Deal with the Evil, the show draws an allegorical double-portrait of vampire twin sisters, named after the originators of the roles, Mihaela and Gabriela. Wearing multiple hats is an admirable skill, but it also has its pitfalls. The inability to distance yourself from the material, combined with the lack of collaborators, can often cause flatness and stuffiness, which is exactly what happens with Wicked Clone.
The prototypical plot follows “good” Mihaela and “evil” Gabriela and their attempts to reconcile both with their nature and each other. A mixture of autobiography and popular folklore, the story of the vampire sisters starts in Transylvania in 1483. Mihaela’s aspiration to be among humans, and to become one, brings her to modern-day New York City. In an attempt to cope with her dark side (and make some money), she writes and produces an autobiographical play on Broadway. But Gabriela doesn’t easily let go and shows up at the theater.
This modern day vampire fairy tale is infused with a good supply of pop-folk songs, but they barely move the story forward and function more as decorative elements to feature the dancing and singing talents of the Indiggo Twins. Much of the narration is done through short voice-over bits, connecting one number to the next, making Wicked Clone more of a music album presentation. Video projections serve as a backdrop for the action. They feature found footage and other characters, but mostly depict the sisters walking and dancing throughout various landscapes.
The format, reduced plot, music, and choreography would be more successful in a cabaret or nightclub setting, where the audience could dance, drink, and enjoy themselves. The production would also benefit from colorful dynamic lighting that is usually found in such venues. The current lighting design is rather unflattering and highlights every imperfection of the costumes (designed by Mihaela.) Unfortunately, as is the case with almost every visual aspect of this show, the costumes are in need of a remake. The idea to create sexy outfits infused with folk motifs is great, but the DIY execution...less so—bra cups made of drain strainers with “nipples” looking in different directions are sorrowful, not “hot.”
Despite the inadequate branding and sloppy visual design, Wicked Clone has a potent, sexy, and liberating vibe deep at its core. The show also makes great use of both sisters’ talents, including Gabriela’s skillful roller-skating, which I was particularly impressed with. Ultimately, Wicked Clone should just embrace its nature and focus entirely on the Indiggo Twins and their performance. Instead of being a mediocre musical theater show, it has the potential of being a great piece of nightlife entertainment, like The Donkey Show or The House of Yes.
(Wicked Clone plays at Davenport Theatre, 354 West 45th Street, through May 27, 2018. The running time is 90 minutes with no intermission. Performances are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30, and Sundays at 3. Tickets are $69 and are available at telecharge.com. Visit wickedclone.com for more information.)
Wicked Clone is written, composed, choreographed, produced, and performed by Mihaela Modorcea and Gabriela Modorcea, based on the novel Wicked Clone or How to Deal with the Evil by Mihaela Modorcea.