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Broadway review by Naveen Kumar
The Russian clown and performance artist Slava Polunin whipped up Slava’s Snowshowmore than 25 years ago, and has blown around the world with it since. He has the scrappy air of a street mime who’s managed to sneak onto the world’s most prestigious stages (including Broadway once before), and is adept at feeding audiences from the palm of his hand. On the menu is a wordless mix of guileless sight gags, untethered emotion and a barrage of snow in the form of white confetti—so, so, so much white confetti. A rotating corps of silent jesters shares the spotlight, climbing atop seatbacks and emptying water bottles over the audience with wild abandon.
Such icecapades are not for everyone. Polunin himself wears a look of melancholy confusion—it’s painted over his elastic features in black and white, with a round red nose at its center—and if you attend Slava’s Snowshow without knowing what to expect, you may wind up with that expression, too. A preshow advisory would do well to insist that patrons must love clowns. How else to enjoy 100 minutes of vaguely amusing pantomime on a set that toes a fine line between crafty and cheap? Being under the age of 12 may help; the production might also pair well with milder psychedelics. But if you can embrace the logic of nonsense and surrender your personal boundaries to the spirit of the season, you may find this blizzard a blast.
Stephen Sondheim Theatre (Broadway). Created and staged by Slava Polunin. With Polunin. Running time: 1hr 30mins. No intermission.