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Review: Birdhouse Factory

New Victory Theatre. Created and performed by Cirque Mechanics. 1 hr, 20 mins. No intermission.

 

Birdhouse FactoryBirdhouse Factory

Darin Basile

Few things captivate kids more than cool tricks and slapstick. Happily, Birdhouse Factory, a rollicking extravaganza from the international troupe Cirque Mechanics, contains plenty of juggling, contorting and pratfalls to keep youngsters—and their handlers—highly engrossed.

Smartly conceived by company creator Chris Lashua, the show is set in a dank, oppressive factory that seems to date from the dawn of the Industrial Age. One by one, the workers cast off their conformist chains and show their unique talents, outing themselves as consummate acrobats and tricksters.

Contortionist Khongorzul Tsevenoidov performs eye-popping moves that wow the crowd, seductively resting her rear on her head, locking her jaw onto a stick and lifting her body without other support. A trampoline act, in which beefy tumblers Russ Stark, Wes Hatfield and Michael Redinger literally bounce off the walls, seems to defy the laws of physics. The crowd also goes wild for Sagiv Ben Binyamim and Elisabeth Carpenter, who hang like weightless dolls from suspended ropes while spinning lamps.

The clown routines, of course, are a hit with the little ones, and feature ubiquitous audience participation (it's always good for a few laughs).

With so many troupes touring the world, it seems the circus is always in town. But the folks who star in this big-top spectacle will make you want to run away with them.—Elif Ince

Birdhouse Factory plays through Dec 14. Tickets: $15--$50.

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