There's no Big Top. The clowns don't have giant shoes or water-
squirting flower lapels. No lions or tigers or bears. But oh my! Has
anyone ever seen a circus quite like this? It's Gogol Bordello meets
Cabaret; Tim Burton meets Bob Fosse; Ringling Brothers meet Scissor
Sisters. There are aerialists who not only leave your mouth gaping
with their muscular high-wire skills, but your crotch aching too with
the sheer eroticism of their mid-air couplings. There's a
contortionist whose “human pretzel” formations will leave YOU reaching
for the liniment in the morning. Acrobats who stand on each other's
hands — and then take one of those hands away in impossible balances.
Not to mention kick-ass choreography, singers who range from
otherworldly shrieks to Weimar-tinged dark ballads, and a live band
that plays its heart out from start to finish. Oh yeah, and fire
eaters! The show — which began at Burning Man seven years ago, then
moved to Downtown L.A.'s State Historic Park — is now at Club Nokia,
and while the venue might seem a bit antiseptic for such a balls- (and
tits-) out production, the space works beautifully. If you miss the
troupe this go-round, be sure to catch them the next time they play
L.A. — Jeff Schultz

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