An Amazing Confluence of Clowns And Circuses in New York in March!
I don’t know if March is New York Clown Month or something, or if I’ve been living the good life for a while, but RIGHT NOW, RIGHT HERE, in NYC, there is an INCREDIBLE confluence of some of the best clowns in the world! And we’re not even having a festival or anything!
Let’s forget about the cornucopia of comedy that normally exists in NY--tinydangerousfun, the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, and/or the rest of the amazing and thriving cabaret, burlesque, and physical comedy scene that thrives here in the Big Apple (And if I slighted a company, or if you need a mention, please put it in the comments below, and I’ll add it in!)
Here’s what’s going on this month OUTSIDE OF ALL THAT:
AVNER THE ECCENTRIC is doing a one month run in one of the tiniest and variety-friendliest venues in the city. It’s an under 50 seat theatre called The Canal Park Playhouse at the end of Canal Street, right near the Holland Tunnel entrance. Avner, (read more about him in my preview post) is doing his wonderful show Exceptions to Gravity, which is simply filled with his comedy bits that have been mastered after 30+ years of doing them all around the globe. This is a fantastic opportunity to see a master clown in a tiny venue. I went last week, I’m going this week, and I think I’m going next week too! He’s that good. Don’t miss it. Tickets are $20 and are available online: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/29765
BILL IRWIN & DAVID SHINER are doing a collaboration called OLD HATS in what was once a one month run, but has since been extended twice and now runs through May 9, and as soon as they can sign the deals and clear their schedules, I’m pretty sure there will be another extension or a move to another theatre. Their previous collaboration FOOL MOON appeared over 300 times 20 years ago, and they look poised to do it again. You can read my full review of their really wonderful show at BroadwayWorld.com and you can read my preview article here on clownlink. Tickets after April 1 are $75, and are available online: http://www.signaturetheatre.org/tickets/production.aspx?pid=2366
BELLO NOCK is coming to the New Victory theatre March 15-31. Bello, seventh generation scion of the circus family The Nerveless Nocks, has headlined Ringling, the Big Apple Circus, and a host of other Circuses in Europe, South America, and the States. The show he’s bringing to the New Victory, Bello Mania (not to be confused with the German luxury company), is a combination clown show/daredevil show. It’s also his first self-produced venture. Bello got his start playing opposite Cathy Rigby in the touring productions of Peter Pan. Tickets range from $14-$38 and are available online here: http://www.newvictory.org/Show-Detail.aspx?ProductionId=4237
RINGLING RED SHOW The new Ringling Red Show Bult To Amaze will be at Brooklyn’s Barclay Center March 23-April 1. Elephants, tigers, acrobats, aerialists, and clowns from across the globe, each a piece of the puzzle, come together to form the circus. Take a look backstage, from the blueprints to the band, from the crates to the clowns, from the hammer to the high wire as the show is built before your very eyes. The show will perform 23 shows in the 10 day span. This will be the first circus to appear at the Barclays Tickets range from $20 to $160 (for Circus Celebrity Seating) All shows have a 1 hour pre-show before the production, which allows kids to get up close and personal with the performers and some of the animals (tigers not included) Buy tickets here: or look for discount tickets at Ticket Liquidator
BIG APPLE CIRCUS After their run at Lincoln Center, BAC took their latest show Legendarium on tour. They are currently in Bridgewater NJ through March 17, then they move to Boston March 26-May 12, and then they are in Queens from May 19 to June 16. We saw the show in Lincoln Center and loved it. The clowns (Clown Couple Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsone) really carry the show, but so do all of the acts. It is really a great one ring show, and one of the best shows that Big Apple Circus has produced (and that’s saying a lot!)
Tickets available online: https://tickets.bigapplecircus.org/Online/default.asp
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL’S TOTEM Cirque du Soleil will return to New York this spring with an all-new big top production: Totem. Written and directed by internationally-acclaimed director Robert Lepage (who directed one of the best Cirque shows KA, and has directed a number of visually astounding operas and theatre pieces, (including my favorite one man Hamlet, titled Elsinore, which appeared at BAM in the 1990’s. Totem will have for a limited engagement under the blue-and-yellow big top at its new location Citi Field (Lot C), home of the New York Mets. Inspired by many founding myths, Totemillustrates, through a visual and acrobatic language, the evolutionary progress of species. Somewhere between science and legend, Totem explores the ties that bind man to other species, his dreams, and his infinite potential. Tickets are available online: Discount Totem tickets via Ticket Liquidator
C!RCA The Australian circus cabaret comes back to NYU’s Skirball Center with a new production called Wunderkammer. Sexy, funny and explosive, Circa presents a breathless cocktail of new circus, cabaret and vaudeville that’s not quite for kids. (Age recommendation 12+) In this cabaret, a diva melts into a rope, balloons and bubble wrap discover their artistic souls while bodies twist and fly. Control and abandon, skill and humor, lyricism and anarchy all meld into a sinuous fugue of profound beauty. Their previous shows presented in New York include the self-titled C!rca and 61 Circus Acts in 60 minutes. Tickets range from $30-$58 (less if you are a student of NYU) Buy tickets here: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/915759
UNIVERSOUL CIRCUS, perhaps the only African-American owned circus in the country, presents a brand new show Turnt Up!, Laugh, dance in the aisles, and be amazed by world-class acts from around the globe, including Chinese aerialists, pretzel twisting contortionist, pampered pooches, tigers that’ll have you roaring, and more! They bill themselves as “The Most Interactive Circus Ever” and have been going for nearly 20 years. Universoul Circus as always features the clown “Onionhead” They’ll be performing in the Bronx March 20-March 31 near Yankee stadium, in Queens April 2-April 14 at Roy Wilkins Park, and in Brooklyn April 17-28 at Floyd Bennett Field. Tickets are $20-$40 and are available online: http://www.ticketmaster.com/UniverSoul-Circus-tickets/artist/804490