Hand balancer Ricardo Sosa

Review: Cirque Banquiste! | Lone Star Circus | Rosewood Center for Family Arts

Stretch it Out

Lone Star Circus delivers another winning year of Cirque Banquiste at the Rosewood Center for Family Arts.

published Sunday, December 30, 2012

The worst thing about Lone Star Circus' annual Cirque Banquisté! is that it only happens once a year, for a few performances after Christmas.

LSC is a school that trains performers in the circus arts, although oddly, the only local people in this year's edition are hula hooper Jesse Patterson, contortionist Cassondra and the clown duo of Slappy and Monday.

Not that we're complaining. The acts involved this year are solid, even if the overall spectacle is lacking a bit if you're used to big-budget circus events like Cirque du Soleil or Ringling Bros.

Created and directed by Fanny Kerwich, an eighth-generation member of a French circus family, the show uses the intimate, proscenium space at Rosewood Center for the Family Arts, home of Dallas Children's Theater. Silky fabrics adorn the side stages, and silks and ropes hang over the audience, from which some of the aerial acts dazzle.

Matthew Richardson of Atlanta thrills with the "Roue Cyr," a giant hoop in which he rolls on the stage, and the aerial straps, along with aerialist Simone Marina Lazar of Chicago. Russian juggler Gena Cristiani also offers several wow moments, especially considering that we usually see men doing the juggling act.

For feats of contortion and strength, Lone Star Circus instructor Cassondra does her part in giving the audience mental owies in our stretch muscles, as does elegantly sculpted Cuban hand balancer Ricardo Sosa, who, without speaking, reminds everyone of that perennial New Year's resolution: Get to the gym. Often. And never stop going.

The Argentinean Laurino Brothers do the "Risley Act," in which the smaller one balances on the hands and feet of the stockier brother. And Russian Kirill Rebkovets induces the most gasps in the "Rolla-Bolla" act, balancing on a board that is atop a series of rolling cylinders.

As for the Chilean dog act Cartoon Poodles, it's cute, but it's hard to be a dog lover and watch poochies dyed unnatural colors (some are cotton candy pink, others are natural white and black), I don't care how safe the dye is. But in jumping through hoops and climbing a ladder and leaping into a safety net held by the handlers, as if escaping a burning building, it's pretty adorbs.

And of course you can't have a circus without the funny, which comes courtesy of Slappy and Monday (who aren't quite as polished and funny as they were in last year's show) and clowns Nic Rainone ("Zerp") and Jeff Gordon, who goes by the name Mr. Gordoon. The latter has a particularly funny routine involving a roll of toilet paper and a hand-held leaf blower, and gives us a big case of the smileys with a soapy bubble bit.

Guiding us through the show is actress and singer Liz Mikel, certainly a local celebrity, who offers plenty of sass and cheer, and displays some physical comedy skill. The producers had the good sense to give her a few songs, too.

At the end, balloons descend from the ceiling and goose bumps are given. The magic of the circus is what it's all about. Thanks For Reading

Dates, Prices, & Other Details

View the Article Slideshow

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
Stretch it Out
Lone Star Circus delivers another winning year of Cirque Banquiste at the Rosewood Center for Family Arts.
by Mark Lowry

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web

Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:

Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:

TheaterJones Section:

Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  

Your Name:
Your Email Adress:

please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :