Amuse Bouche at the New York Clown Theatre Festival 2011
The Brick Theater, presenter of the New York Clown Theatre Festival , has decided to make that esteemed festival biennialÂ (for those of you who are not sure– that means every other year)Â In between, it presents the Amuse Bouche– a lighter selection of events.Â Â This year it’s not really so light–Â 9 mainstage shows, 3 cabarets, clown films and classes, with performersÂ streaming in from Australia, Canada, Mexico, and even from the far corners of our democratic states.
Many of the performers were in previous festivals (some with previous shows, even)Â Last year’s showsÂ Neon LightsÂ
and Channel One
will be reprised (links to past reviews or information about shows)Â As well, Morro and Jasp
are back with a new show, Joel Jeske
has a new show, Mark Gindick is reprising WingMan
(which I reviewed at a different venue)Â Audrey Crabtree, one of the main instigators of the festival, is premiering a new show with last year’s Gaby Munoz.
(who performed brilliantly in last year’s show about a jilted bride
There’s also some new performers, and I’m looking forward to seeing them (especially Odessey Schodessey by Australian Clown Hew Parham.
Amuse Bouche at the Brick Theater l
Amuse BoucheÂ will runÂ September 7-25Â atÂ The BrickÂ (575 Metropolitan Avenue between Union Avenue and Lorimer Street, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn). TicketsÂ ($15)Â are available online atÂ www.bricktheater.comÂ or by calling Ovationtix atÂ 1-866-811-4111.
Here’s the complete rundown of shows.
OPENING NIGHT CLOWN CABARET with PREVIEWS
The Leroy Sisters
Hosted byÂ The Leroy SistersÂ
Wed 9/7Â @ 8pm FREE
The LeRoy SistersÂ
kick off the Festival with a sensational Vaudeville Noir Cabaret thatâ€™ll lay you under your seats â€˜til next week. The scrappy sisters from the Canarsie sticks (who are currently world famous in Newark and Elk Horn, Indiana) present a cyclone of varieties previewing all the shows in the Festival. And, of course, the evening shall be dipped in the LeRoy special sauce of corsets, back flips, gorillas, and minor injuries. For more information on the LeRoy Sisters go to:Â www.canarsiesuite.com
Hosted byÂ The Donovan EnsembleÂ
The Donovan Ensemble
Wed 9/14Â @ 8pm $15
Directly from their summer tour The Donovan Ensemble hosts this night of clown antics, featuring: Emmett and Merril and their popular comedy stylings. Former Ringling Clown Emily Carragher inÂ How to Catch a Man.Â
Festival veteran Vincenzo Tortorici, doing an adaptation of Brechtâ€™sÂ Baden Lehrst
Â orÂ Mr. Smith and Friends
. Straight from her work in Austria, Hilary Chaplain doesÂ Fred goes fishing
. Lynn Berg as Awful Knofel does some daredevil clowning. And members of The Laboratory (Audrey Crabtree, Aimee German, John Leo, Billy Schultz, Tanya Solomon, John Towsen, and Ophra Wolf) show up with their physical comedy antics. More surprise guests to come! For more information on the Donovan Ensemble visitÂ www.donovanensemble.com
Hosted byÂ Crabtree & Honeywell
Wed 9/21Â @ 8pm $15
The Festival Co-Directors, Crabtree & Honeywell, get down to some funny business while showcasing this variety clown cabaret, featuring: Mr. and Mrs. Clown, bringing their personalized blend of acrobatic aerodynamism and preposterously pinpoint balletic proficiency. Vocal acrobat and funny man Zero Boy. Joining us from his recent clown work inÂ Le ReveÂ in Las Vegas, Brett Alters will be performingÂ Only You,Â directed by Clown Festival Alumnus Stefan Hayes. New Yorkâ€™s Billy Schultz withÂ Matoida Sassrofkin at Work.Goofball Lisa Lou performsÂ The Globe ChallengeÂ balancing a dangerous plethora of skills with funny. Captain Napkin makes an appearance. And more surprise guests to come!
COMEDYSHORTS: Clowns on Film
Fri 9/16Â @ 10pm $15
ComedyShorts will feature a selection of hilarious clown films:
2 shortsÂ Creation + Distraction
Â is a duet of silent short films on the more harrowing aspects of the creative process. Part I: a classic story of girl meets blank sheet of paper. Part II: inspiration run amok, literally, off the page, featuring unique handcrafted animation. They will screen with live original music by Clifton Hyde and live foley by the films’ creators Zea Barker and Michael Pope.Â bonylil.com
Jeff Sealâ€™sÂ A Day’s MessingÂ is a silent comedy shot entirely on Super 8mm in the style of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin.Â A New York City bike messenger must deliver an important package to keep his job while trying to find the girl of his dreams. Combining modern-day clowning with classic silent film techniques,Â A Dayâ€™s MessingÂ is an utterly unique cinematic and comedic experience.
Morro and Jasp: Behind the NoseÂ is a filmÂ from Up Your Nose and In Your Toes productions.Â Morro and Jasp take to the streets of Toronto to talk about clown stereotypes starring Morro and JaspÂ with Foo, Sketchy and Fenelope. Directed by Elli Weisbaum and featuring the music of The Good Lovelies.
Written and Performed byÂ Christopher Rozzi
Directed byÂ Tasha Gordon-Solmon
Fri 9/9Â @10pm & Sat 9/10Â @ 10pm
Bezinkule By Chris Rossi
From the creator of the hilarious hitÂ Outre Island, this one-man comedy follows Professor Lawrence Fishburne, head of research at the Institute for Abnormal Awareness and Nonstandard Knowledgement, on hisÂ journey into another dimension in order to collect a rare and magical artifact called… the Bezinkule. We see him in a series of diary entries, which he is recording as a hologram image for the woman he loves, Miss Lillian Treemont, the most esteemed actress of the Old Lady Vic theater company. His mission is not only to acquire this treasure for her, but also to prove his inexplicable adventures and feats of wonder. Will he make it through the many way too complex missions he must accomplish in order to find the Bezinkule? Who will he meet along the way? Creatures? Is there singing and dancing and fun? No.Â YES!
MEXICO & NYC
Created and Performed byÂ Audrey CrabtreeÂ andÂ Gabriela MuÃ±oz
Directed byÂ Hilary Chaplain
Costumes by Valentina MuÃ±oz with Adriana Sarda
Thu 9/8Â @ 8pm, Fri 9/9Â @ 8pm, Sat 9/10Â @ 8pm & Sun 9/11Â @ 7pmÂ
Flocked by Munoz & Crabtree
Enter a world created by sound, emotion and physical comedy to meet Pepper y Chula, two birds who have always lived next to each other and â€“ like their compatriots in Mexico and the United States â€“ eyed each other with fear, competition and withering stereotypes. This dark comedy becomes hilarious when they are forced to sort out their pecking order, their boundaries and the truth. Can anything make these caged birds sing together? Esperemos que le guste!
Audrey Crabtree and Gabriela MuÃ±oz met at the NY Clown Theatre festival in 2010 and bonded over a month of traveling and working with compromised communities in Mexico. It was there that they began developing and showcasing excerpts fromÂ Flocked
. They are joined in this New York and World premiere by the international clown-star Hilary Chaplain as director. Audrey, Gabriela and an amazing team are also co-creating the Mexico City Festival de Clown Teatro in March 2012.Â Find out more about their work at:www.connect2clown.blogspot.com
â€œThe hilarious Audrey CrabtreeÂ you wonâ€™t soon forget.â€Â nytheatre.com
â€œSensually ravenousâ€Â The Irish Theatre Magazine
â€œHilarious!â€Â Time Out NY
Â â€œA delight to watchâ€Â Clown Link
Â ” Heart felt and moving”Â Marion Sosa
I HAVE NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE
A Clown Experiment of High Risk and Humiliation
Created and Performed byÂ Joel Jeske
Thu 9/22Â @ 8pm & Friday 9/23 @ 8pm
You never know what is funny until you put it in front of an audience. In his first Amuse Bouche Festival offering, clown and physical comedian Joel Jeske presents himself raw and unpredictable. Jeske takes his career experience in circus, theater, and variety and throws it all aside to do what he has truly never done before. Instinctive notions, gut feelings, whimsical forays, and instantaneous inspiration combine into a dynamic display where you, the audience, have the ultimate power. By the way, he did rehearse.
Joel Jeske is a twice Drama Desk Award-nominated Clown and Physical Comedian. He has created, written, and toured with Cirque Du Soleil, Big Apple Circus, and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. He is a creator/performer for the award-winning physical theater company Parallel Exit and co-creator of New York slapstick duo The Hey-Ya Brothers. Recently, Joel starred with world-class clown Peter Shub at Roncalliâ€™s Apollo Variete in Dusseldorf, Germany.Â www.parallelexit.net
â€œHe can get laughs simply by breathing”Â New York Times
â€œJeske easily enchants us…and we giggle uncontrollably.”Â The Village Voice
“A Blend of Buster Keaton, Sid Casear, Groucho Marx, and Christopher Lloyd.”Â nytheatre.com
MORRO AND JASP GONE WILD
Created and Performed byÂ Heather Marie AnnisÂ andÂ Amy Lee
Directed and Dramaturged byÂ Byron Laviolette
Thu 9/15Â @ 8pm, Fri 9/16Â @ 8pm, Sat 9/17Â @ 8pm & Sun 9/18Â @ 7pmÂ
Morro and Jasp Gone Wild
Following up their successful run at the 2010 NY Clown Theatre Festival, Canadian Comedy Award nominees Morro and Jasp are back with an all-new show.Â Morro and Jasp GONE WILDÂ takes place as the hilarious and high-energy clown sisters depart for spring break vacation.Â Jasp is heading out in search of romance while Morro is planning to save the world by taking part in a â€œSave the Fishâ€ volleyball tournament. The dream journey they had planned, however, falls off-course as things take a literal turn for the worse. Follow the â€œcrowned queens of clownâ€ on the hysterical and touching coming-of-age trip of a lifetime.Â Morro and Jasp GONE WILDÂ is not recommended for kids.Â www.morroandjasp.com
â€œMorro and Jasp GONE WILDÂ is clowning at its best. Itâ€™s theatre at its best for that matter. The story is solid, the performances are outstanding and the shenanigans are wildly hilarious. If you havenâ€™t seen this show yet, make sure you correct thatâ€¦this is a show that cannot be missed.â€Â Mooney on Theatre
â€œLaugh-out-loud mayhemâ€Â NOW Magazine
â€œLovingly truthfulâ€Â Toronto EYE Weekly
â€œHystericalâ€¦an hour of great clowningâ€Â CBC
Created and performed byÂ Hew Parham
Thu 9/8 @10pm & Sunday 9/11 @ 5pm
Hew Parham as Schmoo
Schmoo is a naÃ¯ve energetic clown, born from the immaculate sneeze of his mother and sent away for his own protection from the mysterious force Oog. He finds himself on an island with only a few objects such as a feather named Petal, a Nana Mouskouri record and his imagination to keep him company. But sometimes impersonating instruments or Italian waiters just isnâ€™t enoughâ€¦. Until a quest becomes clear to Schmoo and he is forced to confront the demons whether literal or metaphoric in his life and his odyssey begins.
A hit at the Adelaide Fringe this year, Parham uses his abundant vocal gymnastics and physical gyrations in what has been labeled “a Jungian clown journey exploring the incongruence between Gods, demons, life, death, fear and love.”
â€œDesperately sad â€¦very very very sillyâ€Â Adelaide Advertiser
â€œI cannot remember laughing so much in such a short space of timeâ€Â RipItUp
TIVO LA RESISTANCE!
Created byÂ Logic LIMITED LTD
Performed byÂ Chris Arruda, Sandi Carroll, and Brad Fraizer
Additional Direction byÂ Matt Steiner and Jane Nichols
Sat 9/17 @ 10pm & Sun 9/18Â @ 3pmÂ
Tivo La Resistance
Newly back in the U.S. from their U.K. tour, the clowns that brought youÂ Schaden, Freude and YouÂ have joined forces once again in a race against time! Donâ€™t miss this covert, clandestine enhanced-security-clearance meeting of the resistance. Learn death defying acts of sabotage becauseâ€¦theyâ€™re coming. And you know who we mean. This is not a test. Come! Join the underground for top-secret tips on death-defying acts of sabotageâ€¦because thereâ€™s something out thereâ€¦.
â€œA riot of experience to excite all the senses”Â Dorset Echo, UK
“Tears of laughter!”Â Lyme Media, UK
“Surreal, quirky and utterly entertaining”Â Bridport News, UK
“A really (I mean REALLY) funny 60 minute ride!”Â TheaterVermont Â
Created and performed byÂ Mark Gindick
Direction byÂ David ShinerÂ andÂ Barry Lubin
Sat 9/24 @ 10pm & Sun 9/25 @ 5pm
Mark Gindick in Wingman
Springing from the sawdust of the recent Big Apple CircusÂ Dance On!Â and the acclaimed PBS documentaryÂ CIRCUS, physical comedian and clown Mark Gindick takes the audience on a hot pursuit of ideal romantic love in his one-man solo pieceÂ Wing-Man. Without a single live spoken word, Mark Gindick flies in the tradition of silent comedians and clowns, bringing his audience as his date, showing and never telling us to say less and lust more.Â Wing-ManÂ has direction from Broadwayâ€™sÂ Fool Moon/Cirque du Soleil director David Shiner and Big Apple Circusâ€™ Grandma aka Barry Lubin, with Michael Bongar producing.Â Wing-ManÂ showcases on Theatre Row in mid-November as part of the United Solo Theatre Festival.Â Â www.markgindick.com
“Gindick really steals the show.”Â The Scotsman
“I know I can make money off this guy some day.”Â Michael Bongar
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND
After re-working and touring with their shows, The Brick is bringing back two favorites from the 2010 New York Clown Theatre Festival!
Created and performed byÂ
Channel One by Emily James and Ishah Janssen-Faith
Creative AdvisorÂ Richard Crawford
Thu 9/22 @ 10pm & Friday 9/23 @ 10pm
James & JF presentÂ Channel One
Â straight from the 2011 Canadian Fringe Circuit. Travel to 2316 where the only thing that survives is the TV we create on Channel One.Â We went to the future to avoid the end of the world. Apparently no one else had that idea. Hey 2011: jump in that time machine! Come here! We do TV. But better! Watch the last two women on earth unleash a mind-melting cloudburst of characters! Take that, imminent doom! Â Â www.jamesandjf.com
â€œI donâ€™t think I can convey the magnitude of their success without putting it so plainly as: itâ€™s f***ingÂ hilarious.”Â The Blog of Jenna Rocca (Toronto Fringe, 2011)
“Winning comedic timing”Â The Happiest Medium (Clown Fest, 2010)
â€œDelightful, hysterical, intelligent and originalâ€Â Vaudevisuals (Clown Fest, 2010)Â
Created and performed byÂ Chris Manley and Jeff Seal
Directed byÂ Danny Manley
Sat 9/24 @ 10pm & Sun 9/25 @ 7pm
Jeff Seal and Chris Manley in Neon Lights
Jeff and Buttons have TONS of new material and now they have their own show so this should be a cinch. Their comedy harkens back to the golden age of Vaudeville (1925-late 1925) with updated and reworked laughs. Their new PoMoVau showÂ Neon LightsÂ is all you need to know about Vaudeville and olâ€™ timey crack â€™em ups. Theyâ€™re also idiots.
Chris Manley (Buttons) is a member of “New Excitement” and has appeared on Comedy Central. Jeff Seal is a four-time Golden Clown Nose nominee and has appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman. Both of them co-wrote and acted inÂ Kill Me Loudly: A Clown Noir.
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was founded in 2002 by Robert Honeywell and Michael Gardner.Â Formerly an auto-body shop, a yoga center, and various storage spaces, this brick-walled garage in Williamsburg, Brooklyn was completely refurbished as a state-of-the-art performance space. Since then, The Brick has launched, produced and presented hundreds of world-premiere stage works from New York emerging artists and theater-makers from around the globe.Â The theater company is a proud member of New Yorkâ€™s burgeoning Indie Theater community and informal home to an ever-expanding family of artists and avid theatergoers.Â The Brick received a 2009 New York Innovative Theatre Foundation Caffe Cino Fellowship Award for â€œan Off-Off Broadway theatre company that consistently produces outstanding work.â€Â www.bricktheater.com