Outside the Box

There’s a Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney vibe to this talent showcase for a school of circus arts. Each act shows off its best stunt: two men (William Smith and Eric Yu) dress like bunnies and kung fu fight, a contortionist (Hannah Finn) outfitted like a mall-dwelling punk teen bends herself into a pretzel over angry poetry, a dancer (Dana Dugan) in a wet slip presses water prints against the floor. Between acts, the mute stagehand (Scott Renkes) clowns around and discovers a prop that serves as a harbinger of the next routine as the two-person Kleinkunst Kabarett (accordionist Ari DeSano and singer Morgan Lariah) wheeze musical accompaniment. Director Stephanie Abrams, who also mimes a comedic suicide routine, could stand to get more energy from her performers who move capably but tentatively through their routines — their movements need the confident snap of a circus that knows it’ll wow ‘em. Burlesque dancer Christina Aimerito brandishes her fire batons with a solid amount of sass, but it’s dancer Onamare who slides in wearing a sexy hajib, garters, bondage ropes and two foot-long flaming rings who burns down the house.

Click here for Outside the Box in the LA Weekly

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