By Stanley Allan Sherman
© copyright September 21, 2012
Hosts: Jack & Diane
Hosts for past NY Clown Theater Cabarets has kind of been a nightmare of hosts at times, needing to do all of their own material and forget why they are there. To introduce the acts, keep the show moving, pick up the shows pace when needed. It is not an easy thing to do. Jack & Diane get high praise as hosts. When they first came out I was bracing for the worst, with the first thing Diane does, who is from LA is insult NYC as, “smelling like urine everywhere and everyone having bad body order.” If this was true it would be funny but it is not. There routines where great and they evolved and grew as wonderful clowns and hosts. www.thejackanddianeshow.com
Moving Stationery by: Thomas Monckton, from Patea, New Zealand. Thomas is one uniquely gifted movement performer. This very funny short piece from his show was mostly about the simple task of moving boxes. Funny and different this show goes up Sunday September 23rd at 5:30, Monday 24th @ 7 PM and Saturday the 29th @ 8:30 PM.
GAZEaperte Medusa created and performed by Myles Goldin. Myles come out in an odd Medusa head or hat and a beautiful dress with bare arms, shoulders and about knee length. It is striped gray and somewhat see-through in places. As she beautifully and erotically moves, relates and a certain drama begins. Using her dress dealing with the tension she creates she exposes her breasts and times. The audience soon begins to believe the only thing she has on is her Medusa hat and the dress. Yes we are right. Pulling and twisting up her dress she exposes herself. This is part of a full piece of multi media theater dealing with Medusa and totally different than anything else in the festival. It would be great to see the whole piece at some point. From what we glimpsed of it is very good.
Perhaps Perhaps…Quizas with Gabriela Mumoz made an wonderful fun appearance doing a small piece of her show. Gabriela’s last show of the festival is Saturday night September 22nd at 8:30 PM.
A Pretty Girl is Like, Cloris Flap aka Tanya Solomon, directed by Deborah Kaufmann: This is something very different for Tanya, who has been developing some great magic comedy acts. There was music, which was recorded, unaccredited. This is in the direction of a clown dance piece and it good to see Tanya taking chances doing something totally different. Would like to see a lot more drama and soul of Tanya’s exposed. If you use music a clown must really use the music. Look forwards to seeing Tanya performing with a lot more personal emotional risk with a lot of fun and joy in her performances.
Farfalla and Pico! Created and performed by Becca Stabile and Gentry Piper Roth. There was lots of commercially recorded music, which is usually a major problem for clowns. It tends to fill up the emotional space with the feelings of the musician, which is wonderful, but the performers do not get a chance to let their emotions really fly or develop except on the surface. This was one of the problems here. For Clown Theater we need real soul of emotions which most of time operates on many levels. If you do use music, credit your musicians. From the notes in the program they are fresh Dell’Arte grads and have some sparks of possibilities. One of the first things new clowns learn is to unlearn everything so you can become your own performer. It will be interesting to see how these to young performers grow.
Next up was excerpt from the hit show Bouffon Glass Menajorie, with the overly talented trio of Aimee German, Audrey Crabtree and Lynn Berg. Of course this is a powerhouse of a show which would be great to see have a real run in NYC.
Members of Our Limbs, by: Kallo Collective, from Finland, France and New Zealand. Here they use music well in their piece, playing air piano and another clown playing air drums and percussion. What is different is they are right on the notes with the music and the mime is excellent. Their clowns are reacting emotionally to what is really going on plus play the music. The music is not at all anything they lean on. It will be interesting and fun to see what this company does in their up coming show on Sunday September 23rd at 8:30 PM.
Snooze, by: Francois-Guillaume Le Blanc from Quebec City, Canada. This is another very different show Francois juggles and dances with his voice creating a unique world. Both the movement and sounds are powerful and will be fun to see what his full show is, performing on Sunday September 23rd at 7:00 PM.
Our great hosts wrapped up this cabaret well, as both clown characters ended up almost totally nude and nudity with blue humor was throughout this fun night. One reason for a lot of the sexual and blue clowning in this year’s festival is the growth of the burlesque industry and unique clowns are finding it is one place where they can perform. The more you perform the better you get.
The New York Clown Theater Festival runs through Sept. 30th at the Brick Theater http://www.bricktheater.com