Archive for the ‘RVCC Arts’ Category

[ATTENDED: February 15, 2019] 42Ft-A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels

It has been a while since we’ve been to see a cirque.  For a time it seemed like we were seeing some kind of theatrical spectacle every six months or so.  S. decided to take her Scout troop to see this show and I was super excited to tag along.  Because RVCC has some amazing shows and the price is always right.

Cirque Mechanics are based in San Francisco and they have several shows that they put on.  But at heart

The shows, rooted in realism, display a raw quality, rarely found in modern circus, that makes their message timeless and relevant.  The stories are wrapped in circus acrobatics, mechanical wonders and a bit of clowning around.

That was absolutely true tonight.  This show specialized in strength, balance, physics (and the defiance of physics) and lots of humor. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: April 2, 2017] Golden Dragon Acrobats

Just over four years ago we saw the Golden Dragon Acrobats perform Cirque Ziva.  The founders of Golden Dragon Acrobats created Cirque Ziva as a special touring production in 2011. This show was quiet similar to that performance, (I wasn’t sure if, since it wasn’t called Cirque Ziva, it would be very different) but there were some minor changes that were pretty exciting.

More exciting was that since the kids were much younger four years ago, they didn’t exactly remember things that well, so they were pretty thrilled by everything.

I had mentioned that Cique Ziva had flash in costumes and sets.  For this show the costumes were certainly here, although the sets were pretty simple.

As you can see from the “setlists” below, the acts were pretty similar and in pretty much the same order.  The show opened with the thousand hands.

Since the acts were basically the same, I’m going to copy much of what I wrote then and see if I have any updates: (more…)

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[ATTENDED: March 25, 2017] Water on Mars

I love finding family-friendly performers who do amazing things.  When I read about Water on Mars (their website is so spare–they need more publicity!), it sounded terrific:

Water on Mars is intense juggling for space stations! One hundred rings thrown, backflips landed, feet twisted, water flying through the air, 21 balls juggled and 15 pins spinning, all set to the pulsing rhythms of an electronic beat.The company is based in Stockholm, Sweden and consists of the three jugglers Wes Peden (USA), Tony Pezzo (USA), and Patrik Elmnert (SWE) who worked intensively for years to combine juggling with music and acrobatics—not to mention snow, chocolate, tap dance, and 400 rolls of tape!

So yes, this is a show of juggling.  But holy cow it is like nothing I have ever seen (I mean, look at the picture on the right). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: December 10, 2016] Doktor Kaboom! The Science of Santa

kaboomWe loved Doktor Kaboom! when we saw him last (which I didn’t even realize was less than a year ago).  His last show, Live Wire, mixed comedy, science and a hearty dose of believing in yourself.

And so did this one.  Indeed, this show wasn’t radically different from the previous one except that it was all about the magic of Santa Claus.  For as Doktor Kaboom! states: magic is simply science we can’t explain yet.  And in case you are worried about any Santa spoilers, the tagline reads: No iconic Holiday figures were harmed in the making of this show.

For background, the K in Doktor isn’t a zany spelling (thank goodness), it is because the good Doktor is German!  And when he asks you if you understand, you must shout JA!, not yeah or yuh or okay, but JA!

And he likes things to go Kaboom!  Ja?  JA! (more…)

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[ATTENDED: March 11, 2016] Doktor Kaboom!

drkAnyone named Doktor Kaboom sounds like a performer I want to see. Especially if his thing is that he mixes science and comedy.

I knew nothing about the man when we bought tickets at RVCC Friday night, but boy was I excited.  And so were the kids, who both love science and things that go Kaboom!

So Doktor Kaboom came out on stage and…lo and behold…the K in Doktor wasn’t a zany spelling (thank goodness), it is because the good Doktor is German!  And when he asks you if you understand, you must shout Ja!, not yeah or yuh or okay, JA!

And he likes things to go Kaboom!  Ja?  JA! (more…)

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[ATTENDED: February 6, 2016] Cashore Marionettes

cashoreSarah and Clark were both out on Saturday night, so I thought it might be fun to take Tabitha out to a marionette show at RVCC.

We had gotten the promotional material for it (there’s lots of puppets this season) and it seemed like a fun thing to do.

We got there early (it was general admission seating, and got in the second row).  And it was wonderful.  I was only sad for the puppeteer that it wasn’t more crowded (my constant complaint about RVCC shows–why aren’t more people going to them???).

2016-02-06 19.43.10Joseph Cashore is the creator and operator of all of the marionettes.  And while most of us think of marionettes as the puppet on the string and that giant T crossbar, Cashore has taken this art to levels that far exceed anything you can imagine.  I mean, check out thephoto on the left from the show we saw.  Look at that contraption!

cash3The puppets are puppet-sized and Cashore stands behind them–he doesn’t try to hide himself.  And he doesn’t need to. The puppets are so life-like (jointed in countless places) that you are totally sucked into their story.  Except for the few times when you have to watch his hands and wonder how that all works.  What kinds of things is he doing with those handmade (and decidedly NOT T-shaped crossbar) handles–some of which (like the elephant) have 42 strings on them! (more…)

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[ATTENDED: December 18, 2015] Danú

2015-12-18 21.01.52Two years ago we saw Danú play at RVCC.  They came back again this year.  We weren’t sure if we were going to go.  There were other possible plans in the works and should we bring the kids?  Well, S. and I had enjoyed it so much last time that we wanted to go again, and we decided to bring the kids.

It was the last night of their North American tour and while they were selling the same CD we bought last year (and most of that show was similar to the CD), they mixed it up a bit and played a bunch of different material.  And both kids enjoyed it.

Like last time, the six members were the same:

  • Benny McCarthy–button accordion
  • Dónal Clancy–guitar and storyteller (he’s the son of Liam Clancy of the Clancy Brothers and was in the band Solas).
  • Oisín McAuley–fiddle
  • Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh–vocals, flute and whistle.
  • Éamon Doorley–bouzouki
  • Martin O’Neill–bodhran and piano (more…)

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[ATTENDED: November 22, 2015] Art of Time Ensemble

aotWhen I saw that the Art of Time Ensemble was coming to RVCC I was crazy excited.  Especially when I saw that Steven Page and Craig Northey would be singing with them.  I didn’t even care what it was they were doing, but when I saw that they’d be playing Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, I immediately got seats (3rd row!) and then tried to explain to Sarah what we’d be seeing.

The Art of Time Ensemble does many things although my exposure to them is through their string performances of rock songs

Led by Artistic Director Andrew Burashko, Art of Time Ensemble transforms the way you experience music. Fusing high art and popular culture in concerts that juxtapose the best of each genre, Art of Time entertains as it enlightens, revealing the universal qualities that lie at the heart of all great music.

This show was a string and brass (and piano, guitar, drum and possibly sitar) version of the classic Beatles album.  But it was more than just a symphonic version of the record.  The Art of Time Ensemble created new arrangements of the songs.  There were enough changes that it wasn’t always evident what song was being played–even though they played the album start to finish. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: April 18, 2015] Popovich Comedy Pet Theatre

popvichThis show was playing at McCarter Theater and at RVCC. It was at least $10/ticket cheaper at RVCC, so good for us!  The RVCC show was a general admission seating situation, so we got there much earlier than we normally do for shows.  Of course, so did everyone else and we wound up sitting pretty far back (I was glad that people were actually coming to an RVCC show!).

But that was okay, because we could still see all of the action and all of the pets perfectly.

Some fascinating things to note about Popovich before I even get to the show.  Despite the name, the show is not only pets.  In fact there are a lot of human clowns and acrobats and performers on stage as well.  Evidently Popovich is quite well-known and has appeared on many TV shows.  And the whole show is told as a vague kind of story.

pop tvWhen we arrived, one of the troupe was standing in the aisle with a cat on his shoulder.  T. got to pet the cat, which was sweet.  Then a man in a cool green outfit (a big flared jumpsuit) with some white face on came down the aisle eating popcorn.  He played some jokes on people in the audience and then climbed on stage.  He was a kind of warm up, doing cheesy jokes (the fingers transferring from one hand to the other joke), and then doing a bit with a balloon that he could not move.  He was a really convincing mime and that bit was great, especially when the other guy came out and tried to pull the balloon away and couldn’t.  It was all simple but when it’s done well, it’s really magical. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: March 28, 2015] Spencers: Theatre of Illusion

Back in October of 2012 we saw Spencers: Theatre of Illusion.  I saw that they were coming around again, and even though we had seen the show, I remember enjoying it and thought it would be fun to see them again since the kids were a little older now.

I also assumed that the show would be different.  I mean, it had been nearly 2 and a half years.  Sadly, many of the magic acts were exactly the same.  But on the positive side, they were still pretty awesome, and there was a bunch of new material as well.

In my previous write up I said that the pacing was too slow.  I’m sure it wasn’t faster but it didn’t feel slow this time.  That may have been the audience–the room was full of super excited kids and there was plenty of laughter and applause–it worked very well with his leisurely storytelling style (I may have also been anxious last time since our kids were younger and I wanted them to be excited all the way though).

He started off , like last time, by doing a seemingly easy but very cool illusion of tearing today’s newspaper in half. He made some jokes about the paper and then proceeded to rip it up and then reunite the whole page.   It’s pretty cool. (more…)

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