by: Stanley Allan Sherman
© copyright September 18, 2011
NY Clown Theater Festival
Morro and Jasp GONE WILD
Created and Performed by Heather Marie Annis and Amy Lee
Directed and Dramaturged by Byron Laviolette
Seeing these two clowns in the 2010 festival, it is nice to see some growth and positive change. The opening uses lots of popular music with the two clowns fighting over which music to listen to while driving a car. Their car made out of two lawn chairs with wheels and a frisbee for a steering wheel. They used their car props very well although many props in their over loaded car where used very little.
They selected excellent music and their sound mix was wonderful. The recorded popular music familiar to many people supported the clowns in the opening as a crutch. They let the music support them – which was disappointing, resulting in very few laughs. Often when music is used like this it limits ones clown work. There was no printed program for this show, unlike the 10 PM show, which had a program. In the very bad tradition of many clown shows and like last year, no credit was give to the many great recording artists who’s music these two performers used.
Morro seemed to be pretending to be her clown, rather than being her clown in the opening, Jasp seemed to be totally there from the beginning. I really like the work of Jasp as what she does reaches many dimensions and she seems to takes more risks. It would be good to see Morro risking more. After they dropped the music Morro’s clown was connected with everything going on. Both of them engage on more levels with each other without the music and they started to receive more laughs. It was funnier. The funniest piece was using two women from the audience, each holding a cucumber between their legs while Jasp successfully put a condom on the cucumber and Morro totally failing to put her condom on her cucumber.
One of the toughest and important moments in theater is the opening and the ending. The opening was OK, the ending did not quite make it. What was good is their story line, which had a nice theatrical build. Credit for this also goes to their director and dramaturge Byron Laviolette, but he also gets credit for weak beginning and weak ending. The show seemed to get lost at the end, as these two clowns were lost on their adventure to the beach. Over all it will be good to see these two push their personal envelopes of clowning and nail their beginnings and endings in the future.
Final show at the NYCTF Sun 9/18 @ 7pm