By Stanley Allan Sherman
© copyright September 14, 2012
The Clown Cabaret is a combination of:
- Previews of up coming show in the NY Clown Theater Festival
- Clowns who have shows of their own and not performing their full show in the festival so they do a piece of it in the Cabaret
- Clowns who have a new piece they are trying out
- Clowns that do not have a full show yet and are performing a little of what they are doing
I am going to start with the last piece of the evening and the shortest piece of the evening because it by far out shined the rest of the evening. Mona Ray from Finland – Don’t run, Rush! Playing September 19th at 8:30, 16th at 5:30 and 20th at 8:30. Of all the clowns Mona was the true clown of this evening. She has totally honest reactions and timing. Something many clowns can use – simple. You do not need a lot to be truly touching the soul funny. The main thing she did was telling people to go home. Mona then gets about five audience members up to help her tell the audience to go home after we do not leave, with movement, gesture, voice and soul we are all belly laughing from the inside out. Mona had the shortest piece of the evening.
Summer Shapiro from SF – In the Boudoir: September 16th at 8:30, 22nd at 7 PM and 27th at 7 PM. This is Summer’s third or fourth festival and each time she comes in with a totally different show. This is another totally different show. Coming out in a white wedding dress soon she is choosing a man of her liking who is sitting in the audience, she is embracing him gently the next thing we know she hides him under her dress and more. This show is full of clown innocents, sexy, playing with and breaking or shattering edges of what is appropriate. Looks like a fun funny show.
Denni Dennis and Kate Taylor – Unbearable Lightness: September 14th at 7 PM and 17th at 7 PM. This looks very much like a dance clown theater piece. If you have never seen a tall man in point shoes and doing point – which is odd, beautiful and funny this is your chance. Kate is wonderful in her movement and character. They are both devils in total red. Again Denni Dennis pushes the creative envelop and we really will not know what this show is about until we see it. It will most likely have some surprises – this show is guaranteed to be different and fun.
Mr. and Mrs. Clown – Blind Love: Funny, sexy, dirty, Mr. Clown takes on four or five cartoon style Commedia characters. This is a cartoon and it is funny and works. Mrs. Clown plays this extremely sexy totally too innocent blind girl from the country looking for a husband and looking to be taken advantage of and take advantage. Yes it is that girl one hears about in various dirty jokes. She is a powerhouse, with her long white cane she uses to get around, swing it with full force looking for a husband. Mr. Clown in various cartooned Commedia masks comes out in different characters to take advantage or being too stupid to take advantage. This was definitely different fun edgy piece.
Billy Schultz – Dramatic Re-enactment of Country Life – Gooper Junior: This is a brand new piece. Billy introduces his father who died wrestling raccoon or some other animal. He has a big cooler of spoons and passes then all out to the audience so each person has two spoons. He takes out his fiddle and he is playing and we are all tapping our spoon together because music is what brings the critter out. We keep on playing the song faster until the mime critter comes and Gooper Junior start the family tradition of wrestling. Most of Gooper’s clothes are ripped off and Gooper wins but then the big critter comes and his only defense is for everyone to throw their spoons, which everyone does, and we see a shower of spoon coming on to the stage. This was a successful totally original piece for its first outing. My only concern was someone in the upper seats who is a bad throw hitting an audience member in the lower seats.
James & JF – We’re Not Here: This show is not in the festival but it will be performed somewhere in NYC in the near future. These two ladies are living in your parent’s closet. Shssss don’t tell. One gets caught hanging in a coat twirling around. They sing songs; eat all in their closet world. This is another very odd very fascinating new piece by Jame and JF and from the short piece they showed it is sure to be another excellent show by these two creative ladies. Look for it in the future http://www.jamesandjf.com/ .
Fantasy Grandma or Grandma’s were the MC’s for the night. J&B came out with a tray of cherry tuna jell-o along with some spoon and paper bowls and passed it to the audience to help themselves. The Grandma’s are a little in the world of blue humor and can be a little raunchy at times – but funny. The challenge for the MC is not to do their whole show in between each act but keep the whole pace of the show moving, introducing the acts and do short pieces sometimes very short bits. The record at the Clown Theater Festival Cabaret’s is 50% MC that go way to long and 50% that are right on target, great MC’s and move the show along. The Grandma’s started to move into too long % at the end. But they were funny, had great reactions and we all laughed.
Z Smith – Pepito’s Big Date: Pepito comes out in an amazing red thick-striped costume from toe to neck to fingers. She is a lovable character, trying to move a trunk, taking out a cabbage and making it look like her, using it as a puppet. Finally she starts to eat the cabbage and that is when the MC’s come out and chase her off stage.
The Vindlevoss Family Circus Spectacular – Animal Engine. This was a piece about a professor a woman with an overly big costume mustache and her aide who is a zombie, a fellow with white make-up and costume store plastic big teeth and instead of eating people he eats broccoli. She has her zombie do various tricks until he refuses. The festival saw this same piece last year or the year before. It would be great to see this little very odd circus push their creative performance and technique envelop.
It was a great NY Clown Theater Festival Cabaret.
The New York Clown Theater Festival runs through Sept. 30th at the Brick Theater http://www.bricktheater.com