500 CLOWN FRANKENSTEIN Plays Viaduct Theatre, 10/31-11/18
500 Clown Theatre, founded in 2000, presents "500 Clown Frankenstein" just in time for Halloween, offering a clowns-eye view of creation and abandonment, for a limited run at Chicago's Viaduct Theatre. The production runs about 70 minutes with no intermission, is for ages eight and up, and offers a special ticket discount for returning audience members.
Just as Victor Frankenstein created his monster from parts of many different people, this new iteration of "500 Clown Frankenstein" will be constructed by a cast of rotating performers. Five clowns will reconfigure into three different casts, each charged with the same task: "make monster." Each unique combination will discover its own way to be pushed over the line, creating a monster from the assemblage of their needs, problems and desires.
The new cast features professional clowns Pam Chermansky and Dean Evans, Neo-Futurists Jay Torrence and Leah Urzendowski, along with founding and current Producing Artistic Director, current show director, co-creator and performer Adrian Danzig, who says, "In this remount, the new casts re-imagine everything. They shift the original gender roles, and discard moments we've cherished for years following the play of this new roster of clowns. It's terrifying and energizing. Echoing our source material, this will either re-invent the work or destroy it."
"These new players are not replacements. The show shifts via their distinct bodies and impulses and changes each night with a new team of clowns. It's like 'Iron Chef': we're creating new dishes from the same ingredients. And 500 Clown is encouraging multiple tastings/viewings by offering a ticket discount to those who'd like to watch different iterations," Danzig added. "Our audiences and their reactions have traditionally been the 'big unknown' in our productions, and now we're adding another level of spontaneous creation with this changing cast. Each trio enhances what they observe and responds differently than a previous cast. Our teams are destabilized and this risk-taking increases our desire for, and concentration on, our next chance on the stage."
The script frame follows three clowns, who embark on a madcap journey to construct Frankenstein's lab. Stymied by elaborate and exaggerated costumes, the trio is propelled into acrobatic feats by an extendEd Battle with an unruly table. Comic mayhem takes a sharp turn to a devastating climax when one clown is forced to play the role of the "monster" and suffer abuse. "As always," says Danzig, "we continue to make clown into a verb."
Viaduct Theater is located at 3111 N. Western Ave., Chicago, Ill. Street parking and under the viaduct; handicapped and CTA accessible (Western and Belmont bus stops). The show opens Wednesday, October 31, 2012, 7:30 p.m. and runs Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m. through November 18.
For tickets, click HERE. $25 for single tickets; $20 student tickets (with ID); $15 for each additional show seen (use code "anothermonster" on ticket website).
Original production created by Molly Brennan, Paul Kalina, Leslie Buxbaum Danzig (original director) and Adrian Danzig (current director). With Rebecca Stevens (Associate Producer), Dan Reilly (Set Design), Lee Keenan (Light Design), Jay Sangster (Costume Design), Jim Moore (Technical Director), Clare Roche (Stage Manager), and Stephen Murray (Script Supervisor).
Founded in fall 2000, 500 Clown uses circus arts, improvisation, and action-based performance to produce theatre that catapults the performers into extreme physical and emotional risk. The work shifts the audience from passive to active observers and creates a charged environment that celebrates the unpredictable power of the moment. Complete production history available on request.