Richard Puts the Moves on Martha Graham, Who Emerges Unattainable


Since 1996 the actor Richard Move has been impersonating Martha Graham, putting on cabaret-style shows in atmospheric venues, his seductive, bitchy monologues alternating with capsule versions of the lady’s great works. A man of parts, he has choreographed these himself and stars in them (fabulous slow back fall!), supported by a bevy of authentic Graham crackers, some moonlighting from MGDC itself. Added piquancy comes from guests such as the recent one-night-stand’s Isaac Mizrahi (funny and oh-so-well and cheekily dressed). In dance genius and diva chutzpah, Graham was indeed a phenomenon ripe for travesty. But her real-life act contained so much unintentional self-parody (of her works as well as her persona) that Move, though he’s escalated to making a movie, Ghostlight, about his obsession, can’t hope to compete. While he’s observed his source with care and love, his response lacks variety and edge—to say nothing of wit and brevity.