Tonight is the last performance of the current edition of Cirque Off, Triskelion Arts regular festival of circus (mostly clown) acts. They promise “amazing” acts in their flyer, and when I caught Friday’s show I was indeed amazed several times over the course of the night:
* Audrey Crabtree and Billy Dee Bedlam did a bit called “No Reservations” directed by John Towsen. It started off as a funny, dialogue driven sketch about a couple on a first date…then launched into unexpected vistas of physical comedy, bawdy, deft and surprising.
* Neon Lights amazed just because Jeff Seal and Chris “Buttons” Manley are just always such funny guys. The highlight of the set was Buttons’ child-like (but subtly arch) observations about a Hello, Kitty calendar. And the dance they exit to is a model for all others (at least all other vaudevillians) to follow!
* Hillary Chaplain introduced a hilarious new bit where she was a drunken bridesmaid after a wedding. The two part piece chases a bravura mime passage (reminiscent of Chaplin’s in One A.M.) with a fuzzy tongued monologue that was as touching as it was funny. I hope to see more of this piece as she develops it!
* Vangeline presented some more of her beautiful, graceful butoh-inspired movement, in collaboration with Jonathan Nosan, who had the most amazing (truly memorable) moment of the evening — a back bend that he held for what seemed an eternity — most of the time without his palms on the floor for support. He seems superhuman in his strength and flexibility, and the effect of his upside down face looking at us from his horseshoe-shaped body was a surreal showstopper.
* Andy Sapora did not amaze or surprise by cutting several lengths of pipe in front of the audience with a circular saw, sparks flying, but he did disconcert and unsettle — and I bet that suits him just fine.
Like I said, there’s one more show left. Tonight you can catch Carol Lee Sirugo and Honey Goodenough, Audrey Crabtree, Tanya Solomon, Hilary Chaplain, James and JF, Groundgrippers Dance Company, and The Maestrosities (with Jennifer Harder)
CIRQUE OFF 2012
Presented by Cirque This & Triskelion Arts
January 19-21 at 8pm
Triskelion Arts’ Aldous Theater
118 North 11th St, 3rd Floor
Williamsburg, Brooklyn 11211
Directions: L train to Bedford Ave. Walk north on Bedford, left on North 11th St.
Reservations strongly recommended: firstname.lastname@example.org or 718.599.3577