Dallas — Despite having pretty solid, entertaining acts in previous years, the Lone Star Circus has felt like a smalltime travelling circus that we’re proud to call our own. With its new show Oh Là Là at Dallas Children’s Theater, it takes a big step forward. This year’s performance feels especially polished thanks to creator and director Fanny Kerwich (Dimitri Bogatirev co-directs). And even with the kitschy Texas theme (cowboy hats and fringed chaps!), it’s more cohesive than it has been in years past.
Gary Lynn Floyd returns home to Texas (from LA, where he relocated several years ago) to play host, singing a few tunes with the clowns and on his own (his piano solo is lovely). Thiago X. Nascimento accompanies on piano, scoring the clowning numbers and interludes and engaging in some of the goofiness.
Local clowning whizzes Monday and Slappy (Dick Monday and Tiffany Riley) have fun with the Texas theme—a bit with rubber tire horses is a hoot. The biggest laugh comes with the “chair” number, one that they bring back year after year—because it’s snort-latte-out-your-nose hysterical.
Of the acts that Lone Star Circus offers every year, some trained at their Addison school, Jesse Patterson wows on Hula hoops, as do “diabolo diva” Maria Wolf and hand balancer/contortionist Yana Ryjova. AJ Silver is, as always, a crowd-pleaser with his fancy trick roping, some of it glow-in-the-dark.
For aerial feats, Catherine Hanneford is graceful on the lyra (a hanging contraption) and newcomer Asaf Mor dangles and twists above the audience in the corde lisse act.
Abilene native Wes Mathewson demonstrates self-taught skills that others haven’t on the Cyr wheel; and if you’re looking for a little heart-racing danger, Mr. and Mrs. G bring it with their crossbow sharpshooting, nailing apples, targets and other objects within centimeters of each other’s heads (and other body parts).
The Pompeyo Family and their Amazing Rescue Dogs return to show what trained pooches (and a cat) can do—makes you feel insignificant that the only trick your dog can do is look cute on social media.
The show closes with the Poema Family doing the Risley act, in which the upside-down senior member balances and tumbles other family members on his feet. It’s a thrilling finale for a show that has easily surpassed previous years.
Here’s hoping for more upward momentum in future years.