nytheatre.com review by Lauren Marks
May 19, 2007
From years of child care experience, I know there are a few shows you go to "for the kids," and certain shows that you use the kids as an excuse to go to. I can say unequivocally that Cirkus Inferno at the New Victory Theater falls squarely into the latter category. And though the adults in the audience mainly consisted of parents with their young children, there were more than a few who were there unaccompanied, and who seemed to enjoy the spectacular show as much (if not more) than the leagues of squealing, sticky fingered numbers surrounding them.
For those who are persuaded only by credentials, the team behind Cirkus Inferno, The Daredevil Opera Company, has them to spare. A small group, the members still manage to have had experience in some of the best circus and clown acts around, including Big Apple Circus, Cirque du Soleil, Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, and the Fred Garbo Inflatable Theatre Company—to name just a few.
This particular show follows a couple, two ne'er do well clowns (Amy Gordon and Jonah Logan), who disrupt the planned events of the evening, and ruffle the feathers of an uptight French stage manager/master of ceremonies (Anthony Venisse) along the way. The clowns find their way into all kinds of trouble—everything from rocket skates to turbo-charged pogo sticks, but to reveal much more only spoils the surprises in store for any of those wise enough to get themselves a ticket to the show.
Director Rene Bazinet has assembled an evening filled with slapstick, music, prop gags, and some fantastically enjoyable mime. I suspect it would take a heart of cement and razor wire not to be moved, if not by the play on the stage, then by the wild enthusiasm it brings out in the audience. Also, the show starts at 7pm and runs only an hour, so it both leaves you wanting more, and with time to tuck in the next generation of rocket skaters and pogo acrobats.