Circus Arts And Wheeled Gizmos At The Hop

Still limited tickets available for Pedal Punk? So says the Hopkins Center Box Office website. It is good news all around. It means that Cirque Mechanics is brilliant enough to be almost sold out for its December 1 and 2 shows, and that you may still have an opportunity to grab a ticket. To paraphrase Hamilton, if a ticket is available, you should not throw away your shot.

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Cirque Mechanics is returning to the Hop after an earlier appearance two years ago in a show called Birdhouse Factory, which presented performers interacting with any number of Rube Goldberg-like contraptions in 1930s-era factories. Every year, my husband and I buy tickets to something or someone entirely unheard of (to us) on the theory that now and then one ought to enter a theater with no idea of what to expect. Birdhouse Factory was that year's pick for quirky and surprising. We arrived a little stressed and cranky from our day, and quickly became enchanted; such is the magic of a good circus. Our acid test for quality entertainment? We couldn't stop talking about it on the ride home, nor over coffee the next morning. We kept trying to describe to each other what it was that we had just seen, and we were (delightfully) not quite sure. 

From Pedal Punk

This year's show, Pedal Punk, celebrates the bicycle, and wheels of all kinds. That may be reflective of Creative Director and Boston native Chris Lashua's former incarnation as one of the world's best motocross riders in the 1980s. Between then and now, Lashua has designed acts for Cirque du Soleil. 

So now I know a little about Cirque Mechanics' style, but still wonder what to expect this week. They are promising "astoundingly talented and funny performers in Victorian garb, . . . swooping aerialists and acrobats who dive onto trampolines . . . At the center of it all is a zany bike shop mechanic . . ." See what I mean? It's still a ticket to the slightly unfathomable. Isn't that the best part? 

UPDATE: Bravo! Have now been there, done that. At the Thursday night show, a small child seated in the row near me sat transfixed, mouth open, eyes wide, unable to look away as aerialists did in fact swoop and acrobats sprung from trampolines.  When my husband nudged me to point him out, I glanced at this kid and then realized that my face was looking just the same. 

Limited tickets may be available through the Hopkins Center Box Office for performances on December 1 at 7:00 p.m and December 2 at 8:00 p.m. Call them at 603-646-2422. Also on December 2, there is a free pre-performance workshop, or "maker space" , co-sponsored by the Montshire Museum, where you can try your hand at creating small wheeled things. 


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Susan B. Apel, writer, ArtfulEdge


#pdv #pdn


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