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Acrobatic Dance Show Asks Audience to Recall Childhood Dreams

 "Now Leasing" aims to remind its audience of lost dreams from childhood.
'Now Leasing'
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LOWER EAST SIDE — An award-winning one-woman show featuring acrobatics and intricate costumes is dancing onto a Lower East Side stage this week.

"Now Leasing," a ballet-based performance at The Slipper Room that features aerial dance moves and comedic segments, traces the clash of fragile childhood dreams with adult reality.

The show draws on the skills of its creator and solo performer, Lea McGowan, who brings more than 20 years as a dancer to the stage, as well as her experience in circus, theater and comedy. The story aims to remind the audience of what their dreams were before they had to deal with bills, college debt and the criticism of others.

"We can be in touch with that joyful, fun 5-year-old self whose dreams have not been crushed by the real world, by reality," said McGowan, 28, who lives in Astoria, Queens.

McGowan said the story mirrors her own life in some ways, recalling her difficulty as a young ballerina with attention deficit disorder.

"I struggled with the competitive dance world," she said.

McGowan interacts with her audience throughout the piece.

"I have a part where I fall in love with an audience member. I select someone," she said.

With the help of the show's director and developer Stanley Allan Sherman, the performance has six costume changes and won the Best Costume Design Award at Hollywood Fringe Festival last month. After this week's show on the Lower East Side, "Now Leasing" will head to a month-long stint at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

"I hope to create an experience for other people to investigate their own experiences — to think about their childhood and their own childhood dreams," she said.

"Now Leasing" is showing at the Slipper Room at 167 Orchard St. on Wednesday night starting at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $10.