Thursday, March 6, 2014

REVIEW: The Magical Exploding Boy and The Invisible Circus Through 3/23 #explodingcircus #OriginalPhotos #KidsReview #SageAndDusReviews #circus

ChiIL Mama's ChiIL Picks List: 
Best Family Friendly 
Theatre Productions 

Sage & Du's Reviews
(A Kids' Eye View)
The Magical Exploding Boy
and The Invisible Circus
The Actors Gymnasium

Review by Sage and/or Dugan (ages 10 & 12)

We thought that it was really fun. We liked it. But we don't think it should be called The Magical Exploding Boy. He only exploded once and it wasn't a big part of the overall plot. We would have renamed it Unique Boy.

Dean Evans was funny... he just is.  That's the kind of person he is. Dean's underwater stuff was really amazing like the manta ray, different sized jelly fish, and crab.  The baby head bit is a little disturbing but totally amusing. 

The invisible circus at the beginning was really awesome. The strong man was hilarious.  We like that the circus skills are in a plot, not just random, and the kids in the show play a wide variety of instruments too. 

We liked the big office scene drumming in particular.  The drumming on desks was one of our favorite parts. There were a ton of talented kids IN the show who were great. 

We thought that the big wrestling guy was really funny and one of our favorite characters.  The Chinese pole act was very good.  The alien contortion act was also very cool. 

The Basic Plot:
This one guy (Dean Evans) is like a little kid but he's a grown up. The show is about his point of view. Everyone tells him to grow up, but instead he just explodes.  He dreams he's in outer space and stuff.  We thought the business suits, ties & work world stuff was funny because the littlest kids were the bosses of the grownups.

The basic meaning of the show was be unique and to relax and be yourself.

After the show we were both begging mom to let us take classes and summer camp here at Actors Gymnasium and audition for the spring show. We wish we lived closer to Evanston.

This production is great for everyone of all ages, who likes circus, clowning, fantasy and being unique. Nothing scared either of us or creeped us out. Overall, we thought it was excellent, and highly recommend it. 

ChiIL Mama Says:

Quit hangin around the house and GO ALREADY!  The Magical Exploding Boy and The Invisible Circus rocks. Hilarious, multifaceted and quirky just don't do this show justice.  We adored the deeper message of embracing individuality couched in stellar circus arts acts.  Actors Gym combines live instruments, catchy tunes with goofy lyrics, and circus arts galore, all within a fantastically fun story line.

Dean Evans has long been a favorite of ours with his physical comedy prowess and his child like, empathy inducing grins.  Dean is one weird dude with talent to spare.  We dare you not to laugh.

It was also a true treat to see so many Actors Gym regulars back again. We've admired the high caliber shows at Actors Gym for years, but the spring show is a particular favorite of ours because they seamlessly combine professionals with their teen ensemble and young artists.

Worlds Collide Alert:
The pros in this show include Dean Evans (AKA: Honeybuns) who has rocked our world in loads of shows with other big time favorites of our like 500 Clown, IO, Second City, The Goodman, The Ruffians (We LOVE Burning Bluebeard), Redmoon and Chicago Childrens Theatre

My own 2 kids have studied circus arts for 3 years, so we know Will Howard from CircEsteem.  He also works with our friends over at Aloft--who put on The Contemporary Circus Festival and are renowned for their monthly El Circo Cheapo shows as well as adult classes.

Simone and Lindsey bring strength, grace and girl power to the shows.  We've also utterly enjoyed Lindsey's work with our friends over at Lookingglass, Victory Gardens, Redmoon and punk rock marching band, Mucca Pazza!

It was also a treat to see the talented teen ensemble and young artists. Emerson and Saylor Catlin are back again--talented sisters who are the daughters of David & Kerry Catlin.  Their mom is a professor with an acting/writing/directing background and their dad is an actor/director currently directing the Jeff recommended smash hit, The Little Prince at Lookingglass.  
We've known Saylor since she was in preschool with our daughter Sage and we've enjoyed Saylor and Emerson's on stage antics (with their dad, too) in Lost & Found: A Recycled Circus and in Skooled.

The Actors Gymnasium presents The Magical Exploding Boy and the Invisible Circus. Celebrated Chicago clown, Dean Evans returns to The Actors Gymnasium to headline this wild, circus adventure into the imagination.

A simple creature who longs to be someone else, the Magical Exploding Boy learns that he cannot escape his unique destiny. This Actors Gymnasium main stage circus event features original live music, aerial acrobatics, and the birth of a clown.

Most shows are selling out so advanced tickets are strongly suggested.  Beat the rush - Get your tickets today at

Through March 23, 2014
Fridays at 7:30pm 
Saturdays 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm 
Sundays at 3:00 pm
$20 for adult tickets!
$15 for children, students and seniors!

About The Actors Gymnasium
The Actors Gymnasium is dedicated to bringing a new physicality to the American Theatre. Encouraging ground-breaking theatrical exploration, The Actors Gymnasium teaches circus arts, physical theatre and multi-disciplinary performance to children and adults; produces original, daring works of circus-theatre; and serves as a talent resource, providing performance opportunities to our students and innovative professional event entertainment for a wider audience.  At The Actors Gymnasium, people Learn To Fly - physically, emotionally, and creatively. 

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