Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
Cynthia Gregory having graciously filled in for the injured Martine van Hamel, finally appeared as Kitri Thursday night with her originally scheduled partner, Jonas Kage, in American Ballet Theatre's account of Mikhail Baryshnikov's new "Don Quixote."
In general the partnership worked quite well, but the performance Thursday night seemed a shade under the weather and even the principals had their turbulent spots. Somehow, the comic effervescence which keeps the ballet afloat was short on buddies.
All the same, Gregory brought a delightful minty tang to the role, which showed up not only in the bracing attack of her steps, but in such ways as a characteristic flick of her head at the start of a phrase, or the disdainful snap of her fan in her lover's face. Kage got into the swing of the part of Basil with a fittingly gallant, sportive air, and displayed an unsuspected comic deftness in such passages as the faked suicide.
There were also, as with every performance of the work, numbers of lesser delights, including Christine Spizzo's sprightly, kittenish Amour; Richard Schafer's promising braggadocio as Espada; George de la Pena as a dashing Gypsy; Hilda Morales making saucy work of her Flower Girl variation: the charm of the corps de ballet, especially in the Dream scene; and above all, Victor Barbee as Gamache, the funniest popinjay since Oliver Hardy.