A Bindlestiff Family Cirkus Production
HIGH HEELS AND RED NOSES
Created and Produced by KEITH NELSON and STEPHANIE MONSEU
Palace of Variety, December 12 February 29, 2004
Directed by BARBARA KARGER and MICHAEL PRESTON
Dance Choreography TIFFANY RILEY
Juggling Choreography HOVEY BURGESS
Music Composition RAJA AZAR, TIM HOEY, PETER BUFANO
Sound Design KRIS ANTON
Lighting Design CHRIS HUDACS
Publicist KAREN GRECO
Keith Nelson Stephanie Monseu Jennifer McGowan
Matthew Morgan Tanya Gagne Adam Kuchler Harvest Moon
Raja Azar Peter Bufano Tim Hoey
A swordswallower, a whipcracker, an aerialist, a hula-hooper and some jugglers are the various suspects in the latest Bindlestiff Family Cirkus production called HIGH HEELS AND RED NOSES. Far from being a flawlessly precise event, yet charming in its own gritty way, this "Circus" is mostly an homage to Times Square and 42 Street the way it used to be.
In a two-act production that begins as the audience lines up to enter the performance space, HIGH HEELS AND RED NOSES is best described as anti-stylized pseudo-raunch that aims to evoke both the pre-Giuliani Times Square era and the rustic, raw talent of old-time carnival folk rather than attempt to conform to the pretty new world of starving illusionists and celebrity conjurers. How well Bindlestiff achieves these goals is left up to the viewer, and depends greatly on the ability to embrace dirt over dazzle, but I think that those of us who have lived through the Disney-fication of 42 Street more than appreciate a blast from the past every now and again.
Though not an example of magnificently executed scenes, as the performers of HIGH HEELS AND RED NOSES are more than ready to do a trick two or three times if it is not right the first time around, there is a lot of talent at work and to be enjoyed from the company. Be it juggling, swallowing a neon light, or simply sweeping up the set, they do it with attitude, with a smile, and with an eye toward pleasing the crowd. Did I mention that there is also spanking?
- Kessa De Santis -