At CAP UCLA’s Royce Hall through the weekend of February 7-10
While traditional 3-ring circuses might seem like a relic of the past, Australia’s Circus Oz is a fresh, fun, and fantastic take on a traditional form of entertainment.Everything – from the ringmaster, to the clowning, to the music – is a creatively reinvented version of the circuses of the past.
Circus Oz is set against the background of a city construction site, brightened up in primary colors with an illustrated skyline. The performers use a bright red steal beam, poles, floodlights, and cranes as the base of their acrobatics, while cans of paint and brooms serve as funny props throughout the show.
The ringmaster is the funky and cute Ghenoa Gela, who delights audiences with choreographed dances and Janet Jackson impersonations. The clowns perform without makeup, updating their jokes to fit the 21st century. No clown cars in Circus Oz; instead watch as one clown loses his cell phone, then has to scale a precariously placed pole in order to get it back.
And that’s just one of the dozen dazzling acrobatic feats these performers dare to attempt. Flips off of a seesaw, hanging from ribbons, clambering up poles that touch the ceiling of the stage, stacking up to eight performers on a bicycle – every new scene was filled with a trick more exciting than the one before.
The added bonus of this circus is the dialogue. Breaking from the usual, “are you ready, boys and girls?”, Circus Oz is filled with fun little skits as the performers chat with each other on stage. Young kids will love the antics of Fantaysia Fitness (played by Flip Kammerer), as she rollerblades off of a steal beam and begs the audience to buy her workout DVD. .The magician (Jeremy Davis) fumbles through his performance, creating hilarity and many physical gags that will get younger kids giggling. And finally, ringmaster Ghenoa’s important message at the end of the show – that we are all different and should appreciate each other’s differences – is delivered in a way that doesn’t beat you over the head.
Oh, and this show will make you crave fruit salad. Confused? Go see it! We recommend it for all age groups, as you are never to old to gasp at circus performers defying gravity.