PianoFight Presents CIRCUS SCREAMS by Samson Y Hiss
"Screams rend the air, blood stains the ground, and the show goes on. Circus performers are being killed. The psychotic motorcycle stuntman, Suicide Sid is killing off other circus performers. One by one they are falling. By blade, hanging, arrow, and flame. It's unnerving. It's horrifying. And it won't stop until he is left with no other choice, but to take to the air and end it." - Samson Y Hiss
CIRCUS SCREAMS is a circus music travesty world premiere. From trick ponies to motorcycle stunts, the music swings between deadly circus acts and the ravings of a lunatic mind. It's The Phantom of the Opera minus the love story. It's Ringling Bros. minus the happy ending. It's CIRCUS SCREAMS and it's horrifying.
Hiss started writing circus music back in 2010. His composition instructor, BeLinda Reynolds challenged him to write a fanfare orchestra. He instead wrote a circus screamer, a sub genre of fanfare orchestras. He then wrote another, and another, and another-he was hooked.
"The project of composing an album of original circus music is a throwback to the dustbowl era of traveling sideshows, street bands, and organ grinders. It's a tip of the hat to Kurt Weill and Julius Fucik. But it's not a bag of truffles to be sold at a gate," Hiss warns.
The five screamers utilize the same musical form as the well-known Ringling Bros. Entrance of the Gladiators. Each screamer depicts a different circus act that's abruptly ended by an unfortunate death. Four interludes, composed for voice and electric organ, sit between each screamer and work as glue to unify the story into one complete travesty.
"I'm attracted to crazy people. And they're attracted to me. That's what influenced the character of Suicide Sid," explains Hiss. "The screamers start off in reasonable form, but by the end the final screamer loses all construction and sounds like it's missing a leg." The same could be said about the interludes, beautifully sung by Samuel Faustine, who plays the character of Suicide Sid. He sings and talks crazy to himself throughout each interlude. And as they progress, the pieces get more frantic and paranoid until by the last interlude Sid is racing off to kill himself. "He had to die. He was pained by guilt for the things he'd done, the authorities were hot on his tail, and the voice in his head was maddening."
Hiss is a self-proclaimed one-man band who hires musical hands as he needs them. "The musicians who performed this circus music show are work horses. And the circus performers who accompany this madness are truly demonic."
CIRCUS SCREAMS features musicians:
Samson Y Hiss, Percussion
Rob Reich, Electric Organ
Samuel Faustine, Vocals
Matthew Ebisuzaki, Trumpet
Greg Stephens, Trombone
Tiffany Bayly, Tuba
Robert Lopez, drums
And circus performers:
Natasha Kaluza and Jamie Coventry
And that's the story. From front to back, waving hands to shocked grandstands, Samson Y Hiss brings a murderous psychopath and deadly circus acts to the Big Top. It's heartbreaking minus the love story. It's bigger than the main act minus the happy ending. It's CIRCUS SCREAMS and it's horrifying.
CIRCUS SCREAMS' world premiere is June 2-3 at PianoFight in SF.
The show is for all ages. Parental guidance is recommended.
Doors at 6:30pm. Show at 7pm. Runtime approx. 60 minutes.
Tickets: $25 General Admission ($30 at the door)
Group Tickets (5+): $20 General Admission
PIANOFIGHT is a full service restaurant and bar with a cabaret stage and two intimate theaters. We present New Work by New Artists, most of which is local. Shows run the gamut from world premiere plays to inventive sketch comedy, choose-your-own-ending plays to audience-judged theater competitions, improv to variety shows, dance, live podcasts, film screenings and more. Plus we usually have a live band playing on our cabaret stage before and after shows.