Thursday, January 28, 2010

No prohibition against fun at 'Speak Easy'

By Meredith Deliso

Brooklyn’s got a speakeasy on its hands.On February 5 and 6, Galapagos Art Space channels the early half of the 20th century with “Speak Easy,” an aerial circus cabaret from the people that brought you last month’s “12 Acts of Christmas” at the DUMBO space.

Suspended Cirque’s latest production finds the acrobats in 1947, celebrating the last night of the Speak Easy Jazz Club.“Something we wanted to do for a while is work with a live band,” says Angela Jones, founder of Suspended Cirque. “A lot of us come from a musical theater background, and one of our girls was in the Broadway show ‘Cabaret’ for a while. We wanted to play with some themes from there, like ‘Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding’ meets ‘Cabaret.’”

For the live music, Suspended Cirque has tapped Victoria Cave and her band to perform standards like “Just a Gigolo,” “Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby,” and “Big Spender,” set to a big triple trapeze number.

In addition to trapeze, the drama will play out in the air on ropes and hoops, as well as below with dancing and singing in cigarette girl outfits and zoot suits – an era-authentic cabaret, but with some liberties taken.

“We have to have a little it of poetic license. We’re doing things that are way more athletic than they would ever actually do in a cabaret at that time,” says Jones. “We’re trying to at least keep it to trapeze and ropes mainly. We’re trying to not do anything too recent (like silks).”

In keeping with the time, expect lots of audience interaction as well.

“We’re going to be in the house the whole time, even when the band is playing out some of the plot points,” says Jones, so people should come with an open mind and “be willing to throw themselves into the time and place.”

When Suspended Cirque roots themselves back in 2010, they look to take some time off and revisit in the fall their recent productions, including “12 Acts,” “URBANOPOLIS,” and “Speak Easy,” and polish them even more.

“I feel like this show as the potential to be one of our best ever,” says Jones of “Speak Easy.” “It’s interactive, it’s genre-bending, it’s got theater, it’s got circus, and it’s got tunes people love. I think it has real potential to be great.”

“Speak Easy” is at Galapagos Art Space (16 Main St.) February 5 at 7:30 p.m. and February 6 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for children/seniors. For more information, call 718-222-8500.


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