Sunday, June 05, 2005

[cultcha] Something wicked this way comes...

The 'dark carnival' is a fascinating recurring theme, certainly among science fiction and horror writers. Well, for the months of June & July, Seattle will have its own 'dark carnival': Circus Contraption's Grand American Traveling Dime Museum. Operating in the spirit of European-style one-ring circuses, Circus Contraption is sort of Tom-Waits-meets-Kurt-Weil-meets-Tim-Burton-meets-PT-Barnum. Evoking the 1920s and 1930s with their mix of vaudeville and burlesque (oh yes, don't forget the burlesque - this is not a show for kids), this troupe of multi-talented clowns juggle, contort, climb, balance, spin, clown (duh), and do the hoochie-koochie to music largely of their own composition. Klezmer-ish in style, the lyrics that are just post-modern enough to keep you off-balance. It has some rough spots, but all-in-all this is excellent theatre. Very little of this is done with 'the greatest of ease' - you are acutely aware just how fucking hard these stunts are - and that only adds to the overall experience. The current show is built around a freakshow motif, complete with ghostly automata and a surreal chorus of pickled punks. And their final number should, uh, really blow you away. Go. See. And if you know anyone in or around the NYC area, let 'em know that they're taking this show on the road: CC will be performing on the Lower East Side for the month of September (last show on October 1st).

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