The Unbearable Banishment: when clowning becomes just another goddamn job

Friday, March 6, 2009

when clowning becomes just another goddamn job

This is probably a back-handed compliment but I found Humor Abuse, the one-man show at the Manhattan Theater Club, far more enjoyable than I thought I would. If it weren’t for mimes, clowning would probably be the bottom rung of the entertainment ladder so I didn’t expect much.

The premise sounds pretty staid; a lone actor stands center stage and acts out the story of having a professional circus clown for a father. Father drags son into the business. Son learns the trade and tries desperately to please his father. Father ends up burning son. Ho-hum, right?

WRONG! It works beautifully. There were a few truly inspired moments that made me think about my own idiot father. And then I realized that the show isn’t really about clowning at all. Nice work.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Burning the son? sounds like quite the tragedy

March 7, 2009 at 2:07 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

This was just given a good write-up in the Times. I feel strangely vindicated.

March 11, 2009 at 3:29 PM  

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