HANDSHAKE UPPERCUT to be Performed at Chicago Fringe, 8/30-9/9


HANDSHAKE UPPERCUT, created and performed by Jay Dunn and John Leo, is an official selection of the Chicago Fringe Festival (www.chicagofringe.org). It will be performed at Americana Stage located at 600 W Cermak, Basement, Chicago, IL 60616. Tickets are $10 Available at www.handshakeuppercut.com. All Fringe attendees must also purchase a fringe button for $5.

Performance dates are as follows:

Thursday, August 30th, 10:00pm
Saturday, September 1st, 4:00pm
Sunday, September 2nd, 1:00pm
Monday, September 3rd, 5:30pm
Thursday, September 6th, 7:00pm
Saturday, September 8th, 8:30pm
Sunday, September 9th, 7:00pm

In Handshake Uppercut, two underwear-clad gentleman brawlers drag each other through a barren eternity with only each other’s courtesy and cruelty to keep them alive. With a blend of precise slapstick and vindictive etiquette that evokes Buster Keaton and the Marquis de Sade, masterful physical comedians and fringe veterans John Leo (Best of Fringe, San Francisco: '03/'08) and Jay Dunn (Edinburgh & Philly ‘10) deftly entangle the audience in their rivalry as they vie for the upper hand. Handshake Uppercut is an unabashedly dark, erotic, edgy clash of 1920’s silent film and rock n' roll vaudeville.

Handshake Uppercut’s creators have reputations for discomforting physical comedy. Jay Dunn co-created Chicken, described by CULTUREBOT.net as “some of the darkest humor to ever hit the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival.” John Leo is co-star of Peg-ass-us, a risque sex-ed comedy on the topic of pegging, and has spent two years nurturing tinydangerousfun! a monthly Brooklyn variety show that invites high-risk performance in a small space. The pair initiated their collaboration by creating a short, wordless piece for the 2010 New York Clown Theatre Festival. Dunn and Leo continued to rigorously develop their work, challenging themselves and audiences to pursue ideas that scare their socks off.

Jay Dunn is an actor/creator, director, and teacher based in New York. He most recently adapted and directed Moliere’s Imaginary Invalid at Middlebury College. Jay is a graduate of Middlebury College and L'Ecole Jacques Lecoq. Off-Broadway: Serious Money (PTP/NYC at Atlantic Stage 2). Devised theater: The Pinks (Gold No Trade), Chicken (Philadelphia LiveArts 2010), Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl (2010 Edinburgh Fringe, 2011 London Mime Festival, 2011 Paris Quartier d’Ete, 2011 Festival des 7 Collines), Hell Meets Henry Halfway (Pig Iron Theatre Company/Woolly Mammoth). Regional: The Game of Love and Chance (Folger Theatre), A Man's a Man (Arena Stage), Headsman’s Holiday (Theater Alliance), Arcadia, Plenty, Piaf, Somewhere in the Pacific, Lovesong of the Electric Bear (PTP), In the Boom Boom Room, Savage/Love (Project Y), Venus (Olney Theater Center), Metamorphosis (Catalyst Theater), The Blue Room (Phoenix Theater), The Scarlet Letter (Rorschach Theatre).

John Leo is a clown performer, teacher and director who serves as a pediatric clown doctor with NYC’s Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit. John is a graduate of the Dell 'Arte School of Physical Theatre and proud gold-medalist in eccentric dance (New York Clown Olympics ‘08). He has performed with Perseverance Theatre (Juneau, AK) and Clowns Without Borders in Mexico and Guatemala. He also produces, creates and performs outrageous original comedy: In Cahoots (Best of San Francisco Fringe: Physical Theatre 2003), Number's Up!, a Neo- Vaudeville Ode to Glorious Awkwardness of Being, Peg-ass-us (Best of SF Fringe: Comedy 2008) and tinyDANGEROUSfun! a big-risk variety show in a small space in Brooklyn. John facilitates theatrical problem-solving with Theatre of the Oppressed NYC and is a recipient of an Individual Artist Project Award from the Rasmussen Foundation.

Handshake Uppercut debuted as a ten-minute amuse-bouche at the New York Clown Theatre Festival in 2010. On its way to full-length status, the show appeared at the 2011 Comedy in Dance Festival at Triskelion Arts (Brooklyn), was developed as artist-in-residence at Dixon Place, and appeared at the 2012 New Works Festival at the Tank (NYC). After the Chicago Fringe Festival, the show returns home to the 2012 New York Clown Theatre Festival.



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