"REVENGE OF YOGA: THE MUSICAL," SB DANCE, Rose Wagner Center, Friday; additional performances today and June 13 and 14 (355-2787)

The long-awaited sequel to last year's SB Dance's "Yoga the Musical" is finally here.

And like its predecessor, "Revenge of Yoga: the Musical" is pure musical theater. There's still the SB Dance trademark quirkiness, thanks to artistic director Stephen Brown's innovative dance and performance style. But the work does pale a bit in comparison to the original.

The original, at least the basic storyline, is told during the first act. It's like a recapping but with different music, tightened choreography and a lot of newly written lyrics. In fact, the first act takes up most of the performance time.

Still, if someone didn't attend last year's performance, they won't be left in the dark. And those who did see the original will appreciate the new look and updates.

After an intermission, the official sequel begins and continues the satire examining America's marketing of yoga and the battle between yoga teachers Danny (Mark Fossen) and Jackti (Ashely Skyie).

The plot moves along thanks to entrepreneur-cum-spies Chloe (Kimberly Cote) and Zoe (Jennifer Larsen).

Caught in the tangled web of deceit, marketing and life are Frankie (Paul Mulder), Franny (Corinne Penka) and Frankie's ex Sheila (Kym Lynn).

An innovative and noirlike script, written by Brown, some nice funky rhythms by Jimmy Fassler and Jeffrey Price and eye-catching costumes by Christopher Larson came together in a great performance package that ended with an ironic twist that caught the audience members re-examining themselves.

One of the problems on Friday was the technical glitches that cut out microphones. Consequently, and more evident during the second act, significant plot elements were lost in the mix. And the energy wasn't as high as the first act.

It was clear the audience wanted the second act to be as good as the first, but there were lulls on stage, especially during the spoken-word segments. Undoubtedly these things will be adjusted during the performance run.

Still, the choreography was fun and Brown had the company revive a flashlight sequence that, as die-hard SB Dance followers know, was used in the 1998 SB Dance performances of "Ballet Noir."

Brown has become more ambitious each year. And while there are some things that need to be tightened up a bit, he has found a way to attract and maintain a loyal following. It will be interesting to see what he has up his sleeve in the next few years.

Sensitivity rating: Due to innuendo, "Revenge of Yoga: The Musical" is intended for ages 16 and older.


E-mail: scott@desnews.com