If you live in NYC you must have been to Washington Square Park in the Village. Which means you must have seen those impromptu jam sessions…you know, they ones with a few people gathered together, just having a good old time, without a care in the world. I recently saw Circus Oz in their “From the Ground Up” tour and it seemed exactly that, except instead of music they were more like extremely sophisticated, über-cool street performers. What struck me the most was that, unlike in other similar types of acrobatic, circus-like performances, these guys and girls weren’t smiling because they had to but because they were having a blast doing what they were doing! They seemed like they were there for the fun of it and would have stayed for three more hours, had they not had to get ready for their next show.Circus Oz, as the name suggests, is a circus troupe from Australia. You won’t see here elephants or clowns with red noses and big shoes. What you will see is an eclectic group of 14 men and women who are athletes, comedians, acrobats, jugglers, trapeze-artists and musicians, with many wearing different hats as they move from one act to another. Forget everything you know about the circus, or any other Broadway show, for that matter. From the whimsical, original music played by a live band, to the slightly raunchy comedic segments in between the acts, to the “Circa 1930’s” costumes, this show is a kick in the tuches to formality. And speaking of the costumes, if the picture above looks familiar to you, it is because it – as well as the entire show itself – was inspired by the famous “Lunch Atop a Skyscraper” photograph from the 1930’s. The original picture depicts a group of construction workers having a lunch and relaxing without a care in the world, and it just so happens to be on a beam some 200 feet above New York City streets. Similarly, the Circus Oz Mob, as they like to be called, are doing stunts while airborne with the same ease and composure as the construction workers are eating their lunch way up high.
The show is a lot more than fun and games, though; there is also an underlying but crystal-clear message of accepting people’s differences and working in unity, while celebrating each person’s uniqueness which is interwoven throughout the performance.
The show is recommended for audience over the age of 5 but there were many kids in the audience who were younger (including my 3.5 year old son) who seemed to enjoy it just as much as everyone else. It runs about 1 hour and 40 minutes with a brief intermission so I was a little worried my son will start with his usual “I’m hungry…when does this show end?” but I am happy to report that he was glued to the edge of his seat and never took his eyes off the stage. He, and all of the other kids, got a special treat: booster seats! Kudos to the New Victory Theater for passing them out to everyone. Why don’t all of the theaters do that?! Other New Victory Theater bonuses: stroller parking and free lockers for your coats.
When: Through December 30th, 2012
Where: New Victory Theater
209 West 42nd Street, between 7th & 8th Venues, New York
How Much: $17-$55 per person.
To purchase tickets click here.
To purchase by phone call (646) 223-3010
Box Office is open Sunday & Monday 11am-5pm; Tuesday-Saturday 12pm-7pm
I was not compensated for this post. I received tickets.