Friday, August 2, 2013

ROAD TO PALOOZA at the Pasadena Playhouse Limited Engagement!

Photo courtesy  Jayne Pojawa

 What do you get if you cross La Dolce Vita with Cirque de Soleil? Well it might not be ROAD TO PALOOZA: A CIRQUE VARIETY SPECTACULAR but close.  The overly long, mish mash of madness holding forth for a very short time at The Playhouse rocks the house with genuine gasps (a guy swallowing big, big swords) and belly laughs from every corner of the stage.
Creative Director Stefan Haves introduces the show that turns out to be not quite ready, but none the less seat of the pants professional and well done.  Show Cards with names of the performers would have been a big help. However, I had already met Mat Plendl, the amazing hula hoop guy, who brought the house down with his management of a dozen hoops all at one time, so Mat gets mentioned by name.  (He donated his performance in a spectacular benefit held for a friend a couple of years ago.) 

The Fellini-esque troop of clowns and comics came and went with bump into and fall down slapstick stuff mostly as interstitial buffoonery.  Stand outs were two women singers with the stage band that totally rocked, especially with Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Many of the variety acts had their own recorded music.  One juggler, obviously a long time trooper, had the lady sitting behind me completely swept away with laughter.  

Photo courtesy of Kelly Teddes
The amazing eight foot clown with balloon, Randy Minkler as “Godfrey Daniels” was really wonderful.  And, I really liked  Ekaterina Pirogovskaya's flapper with the Fellini gang a lot! 

Super Tall Paul Newman with his electronic whiz bang duplicator time machine, electric ukulele, sopranino sax, flute and blues harp really saved the day keeping the crowd happy in the courtyard and then for an extended time as the curtain act as the performers got themselves together.  

Variety entertainment kept thousands of actors and others employed in the days before television and movies.  Huge theaters ran a dozen shows a day with acts of every stripe. This show is overly long and a little pushy, but if you love to laugh, I mean laugh really hard…  please head to the Playhouse this weekend or next. 


Created and Directed by Stefan Haves
The Playhouse Mainstage
August 2, 2013 at 8:00 p.m.
August 3, 2013 at 8:00 p.m.
August 9, 2013 at 8:00 p.m.
August 10, 2013 at 8:00 p.m.
Tickets may be purchased online or by calling (626) 356-7529.
The Pasadena Playhouse
39 S. El Molino Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91101

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