ROBIN’S SHOW REVIEW: BOOM TOWN
(Photo credit: Darin Basile)
“As circus artists, we aim to show the outrageous things that our bodies can do and to surprise people as much as we can,” said Chris Lashua, artistic director of the Las Vegas based contemporary circus troupe, Cirque Mechanics. “However, we take circus one step further by building machines that not only capture the spectacle of circus, but thrill in a whole new way.”
Similar to Cirque Mechanics’ critically acclaimed show Birdhouse Factory (New Victory 2008), Boom Town, whose New York premiere is at The New Victory Theater from April 8 through April 24, features custom, one-of-a-kind gizmos that serve as both performance props and scenery. “A wagon wheel is repurposed as a chandelier, which becomes an aerial hoop when someone starts swinging on it. That’s the magic: you don’t know it’s an apparatus until you see us use it,” explains Lashua, a former BMX cyclist. “Birdhouse Factory opened our eyes to what we could do and build. We discovered that the gears and chains and cogs and pulleys are very much a part of what we do.”
In Boom Town, acrobats climb up swaying poles, fly high and fast on revolving cranes, jump on moving ore carts and balance on towers of whiskey jugs. Inspired by Chaplin’s Gold Rush, HBO’s “Deadwood” and the characters played by Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin in Paint Your Wagon, Boom Town’s Wild West cast of competitive saloon owners, star-crossed lovers and dynamite prospectors defy gravity in this spirited high-flying gold rush frenzy, complete with brawls, explosions and golden discoveries.
My son (age 8) and I had the opportunity to see the show, and enjoyed the 80 minute (no intermission) spectacle. He especially liked the scene in the mine and the overall impressive acrobatic prowess of the cast, whether juggling, tumbling, flying through the air, swinging or jumping on concealed trampolines. From swaying “telegraph” poles to a hillbilly-type balancing on top of whiskey jugs, the performers didn’t miss a beat. The show had its humor as well, and it was fun when a hunky member of the audience was plucked to join Elena Day, who played Clepto Clown, for some laughs and levity.
The creative team for Boom Town includes: director, Chris Lashua; assistant director/choreographer, Aloysia Gavre, and writer/performer, Steven Ragatz, all of whom are Cirque du Soleil veterans. The performers, plucked from Cirque du Soleil, the Pickle Family Circus and Moscow Circus, include Timber Brown, Elena Day, Hannah French, Charlotte Greenblatt, Wes Hatfield, Kerren McKeeman, Andre Nurse, Steven Ragatz, Michael “Tex” Redinger and Clint Bobzien.
Theater-goers who buy tickets for three or more New Vic shows qualify for free Membership benefits, including a 35-percent savings. Tickets to Boom Town cost $25 (orchestra and front mezzanine), $18 (mezzanine) and $9 (balcony) for Members, and $38 (orchestra and front mezzanine), $28 (rear mezzanine) and $14 (balcony) for Non-members.
To purchase online, visit NewVictory.org, by phone call 646-223-3010; Monday-Friday 12 noon-8 pm; Saturday 10 am-8 pm; Sunday 10 am-5 pm. To purchase in-person, visit The New Victory Theater Box Office; Box office hours: Sunday and Monday 11 am-5 pm; Tuesday-Saturday 11 am -7 pm.
Fri April 15 7pm
Sat April 16, 2 and 7pm
Sun April 17, 12 and 5pm
Wed April 20, 2pm
Thurs April 21, 7pm
Fri April 22, 7pm
Sat April 23, 2 and 7pm
Sun April 24, 12 and 5pm