NYCLOWNFEST: Fool For Love
I saw 3/4 of Fools For Love last night (Sunday, September 9, 8:30 pm), and it’s a sweet and funny show. Â (I missed the first quarter, because I had done my show just before it, and needed to take care of some stuff.) Â When I walked in (trying to sneak in), the clowns both stopped, turned to me, and directed me into the right seat, played with me a little bit, and gave me a recap of the show, and then went on with the performance.
Which is exactly what was right about this show. Â The clowns were in the moment, followed their impulses, followed each other, were willing to throw out what they were doing in search of a better moment, and really trusted in the audience.Â (one of the audience members in the back Â got picked out for being “The Dirty Guy” and everytime something slightly perverse might happen, they’d do a callback to the Dirty Guy.)
I especially liked their use of flashlights during a power blackout. Â They start off as utilitarian, and they become puppet characters, with a mini interlude of shadow puppetry, and even a little shadow sex. Â It’s the kind of inspired use of a prop that I love to see.
Another great moment was at the carnival, they ride the rollercoaster. Â With just two chairs and some great choreography, they really were able to convey the rollercoaster. Â It was very cleverly done.
I have one quibble, Â but it’s not with the show itself, which I thought was well-done, well acted, and well worth seeing (they have one more show today at 7 pm, followed by a talkback/lecture at 8:30.)
My quibble is this– why are they clowns? Â This show could have been done without noses, and without makeup, and still been a great comedic show about two people falling in love. Â These were clowns who Â looked through personal ads, lived in NY tiny apartments, rode the subway. Â Yes, they liked to play around and had dolls that they confided in, but I just didn’t get from an aesthetic perspective why the were clowns. It’s obviously their training and their interest, but I didn’t see the need for them to be clowns.
I don’t want to take anything away from this great show, because its funny and good and Â well worth watching. Â It’s more of an aesthetic question than anything. Â (In the same way I might ask whyÂ Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark is a musical instead of an adventure thrill show with a couple of songs.)
Anyway, go see this show, and at the lecture afterwards by the director, ask them why they Â chose to set this play in the clown world. I really want to know.
Here’s their video trailer:
photo: Marc-Julien Objois and Matt Schuurman
Fools for Love
September 8 â€“ 10, 2012
Creators/writers: Small Matters Productions
Rocket & Sheshells are neighbors and confidantes as they each search for the perfect romantic partner. But one adrenaline-pumped night, the best friends discover they may have been overlooking whatâ€™s right under their noses. With only two chairs and a handful of props, Rocket and Sheshells take you on a hilarious roller-coaster ride of imagination, while they plummet straight into your heart.
A hit of the 2012 Toronto Clown Theatre Festival (â€œstellar duoâ€¦virtuosicâ€), directed by Canadian clowning legend Jan Henderson.
2012 Best of the Fest Manitoba Fringe Festival
â€œA treat of hilarity and whimsy. Jan Henderson and company have created a lesson in imagination with the stellar duo of Lesiak and Keefe. This is what good clowning is all aboutâ€”virtuosic, full of heart, and funny.â€â€”Adam Lazarus, Artistic Director, Toronto Festival of Clowns
Press quotes for Small Mattersâ€™ last show,Â Sofa So Good:
â€œI laughed at the silliness and at the joyous physicality, but mostly I laughed at the truth of it all.â€â€”Clare Lawlor, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Saturday September 8th @ 7pm