Cirque de Legume

  • Date:
    September 1, 2011

    Review by Tulis McCall
    (12 Sep 2011)

    There is The Circus of Barnum and Bailey. And the Circus of the Sun. And now, for your enjoyment, ladies and gents, I give you the Circus of the Vegetables and a bit of Fruit. Cirque de Legume.

    Mark Twain used to tell a joke in his talks, and if the audience didn’t laugh the way he thought they should, he told it again a bit later. If he still did not achieve the desired response, he told the joke again. If the reaction was still found wanting he told the joke again. And again. And again, until the telling of the joke became the joke.

    Jamie Carswell, Nancy Trotter Landry, along with their director Pablo Ibarluzea understand that philosophy and have elevated it up to the tenth power.

    Carswell and Landry are the kind of clowns that surrender to the fact that comedy is, at its core, a kind of tragic dance. There is nothing funny about a beautiful sunny day. Give me a rainy day and a man with a hole in his umbrella – that’s funny. Funny is also not pretty, normal, or sensible. It is precise, pragmatic and repetitious. The only thing better than getting the joke is to see it coming.

    With minimal conversation – a few chest bumps, complicated high-five moves and meaningful exchange of glances are the order of the day – these two mime, gallop, prance, body spell and all number of other activities that look easy but I assure you are not. Their vegetables and fruits become everything from lions to knives and occasionally are exactly what they seem to be, as in the case of the carrots.

    Each bit is featured as if it were a death defying act, and once it has been executed Carswell and Landry pull us in as supporting cast asking, “How about THAT!” with an air of expectation that is contagious. Soon we are in on the joke and loving every moment. This is a show that makes you laugh because it makes you laugh. There is no subtext. There is no meaning or pretense. There is only a “Hey, now. THIS would be hilarious if we took the pepper and……” This is a party game gone rogue.

    The news being what it is, if you are not in a coma, you could use a good laugh. Cirque de Legume is one place you will find it.

    (Tulis McCall)

    What the popular press said...

    "Both performers are nimble physical comedians who let their rubber bodies do the talking. "
    Elisabeth Vincentelli for New York Post

    "Less is definitely more at 'Cirque de Légume,' a wildly funny clown act.
    David Sheward for Back Stage

    External links to full reviews from popular press...

    New York Post - Back Stage