A Funny and Energetic Circus Adventure at Berkeley's Freight & Salvage
August 12, 2011Posted by pamela |
"How many of you have ever been to a circus?" asks Regina the Ringmaster (Felicity Hesed) asks at the start of Bay Area Children's Theatre world premiere production of Circus Adventure, at Berkeley's Freight & Salvage weekends through August 21. If your answer is "no", you're in for a hliarous and exciting introduction to the arts of the circus. If it's "yes", you're still in for a great time at this enjoyable production for the whole family.
In Circus Adventure, KaiKu the Clown (Calvin Kai Ku) finds himself shot halfway around the world from a circus cannon, far away from his home and friends at Circus Familia. In his effort to get back home, he encounters numerous fascinating and funny characters, who perform often amazing circus acts to help move along the story. There's plenty of audience participation, with cast members heading out into the aisles to interact with everyone (this is helped by the Freight & Salvage's small and intimate setting).
Everyone will enjoy the toe-tapping music performed by the multi-talented cast, the clowning, acrobatic, and contort acts, and the non-stop jokes and gags. Standouts include Hesed as the show's ringmaster, narrator, and violinist, the amazing contortion and balancing of Nobutaka Mochimaru, the incredible acrobatics of sixth-grader Cassie YueChun Weigel, and the unstoppable antics of Calvin Kai Ku. The performance is helped along by an able trio of musicians—Mahsa Matin, Juliana Frick, and Luz Gaxiola—but juggled, clowned, and performed balancing acts, too.
As with all Bay Area Children's Theatre productions we've attended, one of the highlights of the event was at the end, when the cast assembled in the lobby of the Freight & Salvage to autograph posters from the production (which were handed out to the children for free). The kids were delighted to be able to stop and talk with the performers who they had just seen on stage.
Circus Adventure was created and directed by Bay Area circus veteran Jeff Raz, founder of San Francisco's Clown Conservatory and local Cirque du Soleil casting partner.
The Freight and Salvage has a snack bar on-site, so you can get cookies, hot chocolate, juice, coffee, and other drinks and snacks to enjoy during the performance. The show was a little under an hour in length, without an intermission, an ideal length that precludes young children losing interest or energy. The Freight and Salvage is located at 2020 Addison Street, between Milvia Street and Shattuck Avenue, in downtown Berkeley. Convenient parking is available literally right next door at the Center Street Garage (there's an entrance on Addison). For directions and additional parking information, visit www.thefreight.org.
Performances of Circus Adventure take place on Saturdays and Sundays at 2 pm through August 21, 2011. Tickets are $15 for children, $17 for seniors, and $20 for adults. To order, call the Bay Area Children's Theatre box office at (510) 296-4433 or visit www.bactheater.org.