BWW Review: BIG APPLE CIRCUS Flips and Flies Its Way Back To Lincoln Center
For the past couple of years, the sumptuous vocals of bluesy diva Storm Marrero has been seducing New York audiences in the erotic theatre/dance productions created by Company XIV, but the Brooklyn-born artist has found more family-friendly surroundings as the new ringmaster of The Big Apple Circus.
Pitching its one-ring home once again in Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park, this intimate circus, directed by the mother/son team of Cecil MacKinnon & Jack Marsh, is a terrific night out for both kids and adults, focused on acts that display daring feats of strength and coordination.
As our host, Marrero introduces each act with gusto, is granted some spotlight moments to enchant us with vocals and plays it straight for the kooky clowning antics of Amy Gordon, appearing as a classic New York pigeon.
Look skyward for the graceful movements of aerial strap artists Maryna Tkachenko and Tetyana Yudina, the flipping and flying of the Russian barre and trapeze acrobats of the Aliev Troupe and for the high wire walking and bicycling of the Lopez Troupe.
The more earthbound acts are highlighted by the feats of strength and agility performed by Rafael Ferreira and Alan Pagnota of Dupla Mão na Roda ("four hands and two wheels"), with wheelchair user Ferreira, who was born with congenital arthrogryposis, balancing off of his partner, connected only by their hands.
Equally impressive are Abel Driggs and Daniel Bridon Benitez of The Explosion Duo, who spin up and down a Chinese Pole in their gravity defying aerodynamic act.
The most gasp-worthy spectacle of the show is when daredevil Jayson Dominguez climbs in, out and above the spinning Wheel of Death, leaping through the air and even skipping rope in defiance of the contraption's dangerous perpetual motion.
There are two animal acts in the show, neither of which display any undue coercion. In fact, at the performance this reviewer attended, it looked as though The Savitsky Cats might never get started, as one of its feline stars seemed disinterested in performing the initial trick.
The horses galloping around the ring showed no hesitation as acrobats Caleb Carinci and Renny Spencer performed their acrobatic feats atop their backs.
Throughout the show, music director/trumpeter Wages Argott's band plays energy-lifting and tension-mounting compositions by Janine Delwarte and Ada Westfall to add to the festive atmosphere of a rollicking showcase.