A SIMPLE SPACE: Show Review by Lainie Gutterman

My son Ian and I were lucky enough to recently see A SIMPLE SPACE at The New Victory Theater (209 West 42nd Street).

Taken from the theatre’s performance description……….Who needs circus rigging, sparkly costumes or even shoes when you’ve got each other?  This talented, tight-knit troupe and their dynamic drummer saturate their stripped-down spectacle with high-energy athleticism. A SIMPLE SPACE is a down-to-earth and downright delightful display of human strength, breathtaking skill and cheeky, good-natured one-upmanship. 

The show literally just starts with no introduction. Percussion music is played by the drummer, and the acrobats begin moving around saying, “falling.”

There is such an element of trust and comfort amongst this troupe of athletic performers/acrobats. (Benton Adams-Walker, Rachel Boyd, Lachlan Harper, Jackson Manson, Ashleigh Pearce and Jacob Randell)  They are literally swinging, balancing and climbing all over one another and have their bare feet on each others hands, heads, shoulders, etc.

I was totally in awe as a female climbed on top of two of the males. An audience member even exclaimed, “I’m out of breath.”

It was impressive to learn in the Q&A in the Playbill that the acrobats consider their fellow castmates family first. They harmoniously work together as a close-knit team. They even choreograph the show lights during the performance.

According to Acrobat Jacob Randell, “The best part (about working with Gravity & Other Myths) is that I don’t ever classify it as ‘working.’ The team are all my good friends and we all have the common goal and love for training, performing and creating.” 

Ian’s favorite part was when they gave out colored balls to the audience who threw them on stage which didn’t lead the performers to miss a beat. (He’s such a boy!) 

Seeing A SIMPLE SPACE made me appreciate the human body as a tool. Each one of us has unique skills and special talents. My 9 year-old son has calendar memory and can tell you what day of the week dates happen on.  As I watched these incredible performers, I wondered how these acrobats came to do this and what their training involved.

Originally from San Francisco, acrobat Rachel Boyd explained, “As a kid, I loved watching Shirley Temple movies, and I wanted to one day make people feel as excited watching me as I did watching her. As it turns out, tap dancing wasn’t for me, but it was my discovery of gymnastics 13 years ago that won me over. When I found out that I could have a career in the circus, it meant I could combine my passion for performing, creating with others and learning new skills all in one.”

I would sum up A SIMPLE SPACE as witnessing yoga and gymnastics on steroids. Any mere description honestly won’t nearly do it justice.  You really must see it for yourself. But hurry as it’s only at The New Victory Theater until February 24, 2019. Tickets start at $22. Select ‘Stage Seating’ when you order if you want to be right next to the action with onstage seats—including opportunities for audience participation! I guarantee you’ll have a blast as these amazing performers show off their gravity-defying moves. 

The show has an approximate running time of 60 minutes with no intermission, and late seating is at the discretion of the House Manager. It’s geared for ages 6 and up.

Visit https://tickets.newvictory.org/single/PSDetail.aspx?psn=9302

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