September 6, 2010 Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show

Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show
at Galapagos Art Space
September 6, 2010

Open Stage Line-up
Hosted by Keith "Bindlestiff" Nelson
Marisa Maffia - aerial
Pat Hull - musician
Becky Hahn - static trapeze
James and JF - clowns
Silky Sirens Burlesque
Billie Silman - static trapeze act
Mariko Iwasa - clown
Matt Henry - combination trick
Jennifer Slaw - juggling
Dave Cox - comedy juggling
Eric Allen - comedy straps
David Cremmin - magic
Zero Boy and Miss T from Thunder Bay
Danni Martin - juggler

Review written by Josh Bisker
September 6th saw another exciting foray into the world of variety arts with the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus at Galapagos Arts Space. For nearly two years, BFC’s monthly Open Stage Variety Show has showcased New York’s brightest new stage talents delivering something bold, new, and boundary-breaking to the audience. Geared for emerging artists and for established performers headed into new frontiers, each performance has the zest and spark of performers putting their skills on the line for your entertainment. And September’s show was a humdinger.

Clowns, aerialists, sound-effects wizards…Variety with a capital “V.” Jennifer Slaw started the evening out with a bang…or rather a chomp, with her richly funny and innovative Clown’s Picnic act—complete with audience participation, a juggling-while-eating (eating-while-juggling?) contest, human pyramids, a bottomless picnic basket, and belly laughs all throughout. Emerging clown Mariko Iwasa followed with a humorous tap-dancing pantomime, air guitaring and shadowboxing her way through snatches of West Side Story and doing her Slapstick Dojo pedigree proud.

The inimitable Zero Boy, most often a lone gunman, this time found a partner in crime with the sultry Miss T from Thunder Bay; their sans radio radio play about the licentious, salacious, and hilarious outlaws Bonnie and Clyde taught the dear moral lesson that apparently, crime can pay after all. Keeping right in line with the 1930s theme, Silky Sirens burlesque raised the, um, bar with a “Come Up and See Me” strip tease that would have made Mae West blush (Silky Sirens would return later in force as four ladies with Japanese parasols but very little else in the way of accoutrement…just the bare essentials). And just when it seemed like the audience couldn’t pay closer attention to anything than they did to silk stockings unsheathing, Danny Barton made the stage shine with a riveting glow-in-the-dark juggling act (that man has three hands, I swear).

And the hits kept coming: Pat Hull on guitar sang that “Everyone Can’t Be Your Friend,” and Eric Allen, a Circus Smirkus trained performer, performed a fabulous happy clown/sad clown comedic aerial straps act (I could not beLIEVE that it was only his debut. His debut! I obviously wasted my youth by not running away with the circus at a younger age).

Becky Hahn

Matt Henry, combo trick

Dave Cox with audience volunteer

Jennifer Slaw, juggler

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