By: Stanley Allan Sherman
Produced by: Bindlestiff Family Variety Arts, Inc.
20th Annual Bindlestiff Family Cirkus Cabaret
March 13 – 16
The Troup: Keith Nelson, Stephanie Monseu, Adam Kuchler, Miss Ekaterian, Sabrina Chap, Chris Delgado, Mitch Lustig, Cordone
Lighting Assistance: Mark Simmons & Lisa Soverino
Lighting Operator: Derek and Jake De Groot
Sound Person: Dwayne Brown
Fixer: Ellia Bisker
Plus many volunteers
An amazing evening and a breath of fresh cold air that warmly stimulates. Here is an evening of great entertainment without all the high priced sound systems and electronic gizmos to keep your attention. They have to rely on their talent! The troupe has plenty. Thank you, thank you, thank you – live original music!!! Played by the Sabrina Chap a one women orchestra. Having live music creates an evening of performances alive giving total freedom to the performers to do anything, take advantage of opportunities that come up in the moment and go anywhere at anytime. It is live Cirkus – you want to experience.
Coming in to the Brooklyn Lyceum is a range of down-home cirkus activity with some extra-added feature for the evening adult show. The multi talented and beautiful Miss Ekaterian is touring the space selling beverages. The Lyceum is decorated with Bindlestiff Cirkus vintage banners including a large freak exhibition banner, of course the cirkus ring, table of drinks and souvenirs. Some of these banners look like they are true museum antiques. Kinko (Keith Nelson) in true American old time circus clown meaning he is really funny and theatrical. He has the gifted ability and experience of performing the simplest activity and we all have laughing smiles from our insides to our faces. That is what 20 years of Bindlestiff Cirkus performing brings you.
Ring Mistress Philomena (Stephanie Monseu) with Audience volunteer and her whips.
The entrance of our MC and Ring Mistress Philomena (Stephanie Monseu) with a classy edge of adventure introduces and entertains. She is a master with the whip! Playing two whips in musical solo instrumental song. Then comes the drama…and fun audience participation. Choosing an audience member is an art. This evening she just happened to choose someone I know, who came with four friends. It is always great to come with friend to see a show like this. The act is loads of fun at the same time keeping the dramatics real and earthy – without all the phony fear you find in some other circuses and variety shows. This is truly fun funny from the heart entertaining!
The juggler – hat and box juggling is classic. The art is to make it enormously entertaining. With the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus we are able to see the artistry of the performances and Adam Kuchler is pleasurable delight. Adam taking simple juggling and with little details making it a uniquely great time, even the perceived mistakes are setups. In the second act Adam comes on again making at what first looks like simple fun with three boxes, then when you think it is over – 20 boxes are now in the ring! Now the fun begins… and the whole audience is with him every moment.
Cardone is a magician that will truly make you wonder – what the ^@*!# that’s impossible – how did he do that. He will keep you wondering and enjoying the magic.
Miss Ekaterian just watching her move and how she moves getting into positions that seem impossible and then getting out of them in a lovely kind of dance. She will have you breathless with her artistry.
Another joyous creative moment is how the whole troupe introduces the intermission. I have never experienced a more original joyous way to introduce an intermission. It is all entertaining surprises.
Chris Delgado is a German Wheel expert, what is the German Wheel? A big metal wheel that a man can stand in and do all kinds of movements with the rolling wheel, controlling rolls, tipping and angle. It’s a wheel of fun and there are a few great stunts. To see more you can go to his website www.thewheeldelgado.com. The show wheels along an excellent pace with Miss Ekaterian.
No one does Arial Silk like Miss Ekaterian. As a lovely lady once told me, “everyone and their sister are doing Arial Silk now, so you have to be really good.” She is and lovely, beautiful fun and dream like. I have never seen a few of the Arial Silk moves that Miss Ekaterian performs. And to live music – we are experiencing a really creative treat of beauty!
Kinko (Keith Nelson) turns into Mr. Pennygaff for the second half and keeping this very special cirkus totally alive introduces Sabrina Chap our one-woman orchestra doing a solo, which was a pleasure. All this affects the total rhythm and timing of the show, which is at a great entertaining pace.
Mr. Pennygaff loves long pointy things – like long scissors and swords. To prove they are sharp…well I will not give away that moment. You have to go see it for yourself. This is sword swallowing at it finest with pleasurable drama of Mr. Pennygaff.
Philomena and Mr. Pennygaff playing with fire.
One beautiful unique pieces of the night was our Ring Mistress Philomena going from a solo then turning into a two-person fire manipulation and eating choreography that was just beautiful with Mr. Pennygaff. These two masters playing with fire, becomes a delight, as is this show. Ending in a true Cirkus ring tour of the company, which include Tanya Solomon who artfully ran the geek show.
This is the 20th Anniversary Show with affordable prices; it is also great to take notices that the Bindlestiff Family is giving bargain family prices for their family shows. They encourage people to remember: dress for festival and be part of the glamour of the evening! Those in costume or circusy makeup may ask for a discounted ticket at the door during evening shows. Also it is the Brooklyn Lyceum so dress warmly.
March 13 – 16
Night time show: 8 PM for those 18 and older
$20 advance / $25 door / $10 discount for anyone in circus makeup (walk-up only)
Family Matinees 3:00 pm March 15 and 16 – for the whole family
$12 or 4 for $40
Advance tickets http://brooklynlyceum.wazala.com/products/bindlestiff-family-cirkus/
Bindlestiff Family Variety Arts, Inc. www.bindlestiff.org
a 501 c3 non-profit PO Box 1917 New York NY 10009
More great photos of the show by Jim Moore go to http://vaudevisuals.com/?p=10208