Check it Out!
Wanderlust & Wifli Present: White Album Christmas Circus SpectacularTue, November 25, 2008 - 9:01 PM
FRIDAY DECEMBER 19th
Wanderlust and WiFli Present:
"White Album Christmas"
The Bossanova Ballroom
A Holiday Circus Spectacular set to the music of The Beatles' "White Album"
Musical Director: John Averill (March Fourth, Kaosmosis)
Theatrical Director: Noah Mickens (Batty's Hippodrome, Someday Lounge)
Technical Director: Nick the Creature (Wanderlust Circus, CELLSpace)
Advance Tickets Available from Brown Paper Tickets:
TICKETS $22 advance, $27 Day of Show
Doors at 7pm, Show at 8pm sharp
722 E Burnside
Portland, OR 97215
Though Portland's snowy season lasts for only one week at the end of January, like all cities we dream each year of a white christmas. 40 years ago, in December of 1968, the gift of choice for anyone aged 12 to 30 was 1 record The Beatles. Affectionately known as "The White Album" for its monochrome cover, The Beatles has become the 10th-highest-selling album of all time, an acknowledged classic of popular music. As it sat under shimmering aluminum trees the world over, families watched the crew of the Apollo 8 send back the first ever images of the Moon's far side.
To pay tribute to that monumental holiday season, our own Fab Four have orchestrated a colossal love-in of music and circus arts. Telling a story of one clown's riotous adventure through love, fame, class struggle, and kung-fu; with the music of The Beatles and the fairytale steampunk stylings of Wanderlust; White Album Christmas will amaze and amuse three generations of children, parents, and grandparents in the vintage theater ambiance of The Bossanova Ballroom. More fun than The Nutcracker, Jesus Christ Superstar, and The Singing Christmas Tree combined.
John Averill, founder and musical director of March Fourth Marching Band, unites with his comrades from the Kaosmosis house band to rearrange and perform the entirety of The White Album. They call themselves The Nowhere Band. These musicians have performed together for years under many guises: The Dahoo Chorus, The White Parade, The Roswell Sisters, and a myriad of other themed projects and troupes. The core band consists of
Dave Camp (Stereovision)
Arthur Parker (Trash Can Joe, Flat Mountain Girls)
Carl Tietze (Solovox)
Chet Lyster (Buick 6, Lucinda Williams)
Ryan Moore (Titans of Oblivion)
and of course Mr. Averill himself (March Fourth, Dahoo Chorus).
They've had their eyes set on The White Album since they were little kids listening to their parents' copies, and can't wait to share their interpretations; fortified by the March Fourth horn section, a string quartet, and an all-star array of guest musicians and vocalists.
A troupe of circus and varieté acts, directed by Noah Mickens, performs a Stage Show scored live by this band; drawing from the existing Wanderlust roster of world-class performers. Meanwhile a second troupe of players, directed by Jasper Patterson, serves as clowns and physical comedians interacting with the audience, bringing them into greater involvement with the Floor Show. Patterson's troupe will meet the audience members as they enter the theater in order to prepare them for total immersion in the show, and to make sure they know their parts. At White Album Christmas, the Fourth Wall is the one between the sidewalk and the ticket booth.
The plot concerns an ambitious young clown who falls in love with a beautiful aerial performer, unexpectedly leading him to a starring role in the show and setting off a clash of cultures between his rough-and-tumble peers and the high-hat big top crew that threatens to mire our hero in the lavish swamp of fame and excess. The storyline is to be presented as spontaneous (yet well choreographed), alternating showpieces for our characters with stand-alone variety acts spotlighting the rest of our proud circus family.
The artists who comprise our core troupe and extended family of performers and technicians include veterans of Teatro Zinzanni, The Flying Karamazov Brothers, The San Francisco Circus Arts Center, Big Apple Circus, and more.
For The White Album Christmas, Wanderlust has assembled the best of the loyal all-stars from our past shows, alongside dynamite acts new to the Portland varietè underground.
Kazum has been cleverly combining acrobalance, adagio and cheer-leading stunts to create high-flying, jaw-dropping spectacles since 2005. In that time they have collaborated with many of the most beloved groups in Portland's dynamic culture including Heroes & Villains, Trashcan Joe, Sweet Juice, and The March 4th Marching Band. This fresh-faced foursome of fearless fantastics has been seen brandishing their high energy flair at Portland's Earth Day Festival, The Oregon Country Fair, The Alberta Street Fair, Pickathon, The Bite of Oregon, Batty's Hippodrome, and everywhere else.
AWOL Dance Collective
Wowing audiences of all ages and interests, A-WOL has been known to hang from trees in parks, ceilings of any building or stage, cranes in warehouses and any other structure built to support a flying dancer. Although aerial dance is their unique specialty, this diverse group has also used floors, staircases, jungle gyms, stages, sidewalks, trampolines and the like to display gymnastics, partnering, break dancing and skilled modern technique to any variety of audience.
AWOL first crossed paths with William Batty as members of his first circus troupe, Cicuri Curajul at The Crystal Ballroom. Like so many of our family, they've left home to find their fortune and return to us this Christmas as self-made circus stars.
Leapin' Louie Lichtenstein
Straight from the Wild West, where life is cheap and courage is costly, Leapin' Louie Lichtenstein is never without a spare dollar. With his lasso from El Paso and a bullwhip that even Wyatt Earp couldn't Dodge, this buckaroo buffoon is like sand beneath the chaps of our wrathful ringmaster. Mr. Lichtenstein was recently awarded the title of Best Comedy Roper at the 2007 Will Rogers Expo of the Wild West Arts Club, Claremore, Oklahoma; and the Prix d'Or, 1st Prize at the Vevey International Festival des Artistes de la Rue in Vevey, Switzerland.
This centrifugal chevalier has single-handedly expanded the possibilities of hooping, from his base of operations in San Francisco to the circus meccas of Dubai and Montreal. His repertoire of tricks is unduplicated on this Earth.
Night Flight were trained in Montreal, the circus capital of North America, by teachers from the Cirque du Soleil. Newly returned to Portland in 2008, they've arrived just in time for the real fun. They work alone and as a pair on the lira, trapeze, silks, and straps.
For 8 years, Cherry has stood among the finest poi spinners in the business, a founding member of Societas Insomnia and a fixture at Sinferno Cabaret. Her exploits have been seen on HBO, The Style Channel, and in live shows with L.A.'s Firegroove . Her love of dance and fire has taken her across the globe to perform in Amsterdam, Greece, Paris, Italy, Spain and Portugal.
Jasper studied conventional theater until he realized that it was boring. He returned to his roots as a second generation Vaudevillian. His mission; to combine the best aspects of theater and variety entertainment, spectacle, audience immersion and mind-control...and then to finally, one day, become a wizard.
He has studied with "Master Teachers" of physical performance: Avner Eisenberg, Sue Morrison and Jim Calder. He is also the co-producer of the upcoming Comedy/Variete festivals (an extension of the Seattle Moisture Fest) in Portland and San Francisco this Spring. He directs in the Northwest and Bay Area, and sometimes pays his rent by performing at cabarets and bachelorette parties.
Nick "The Creature" Harbar is not only a co-founder and -director of the Wanderlust operation, but also a multifaceted circus performer. He founded and directed the gypsy-themed Circo Romani at San Francisco's CELLSpace theater before relocating to Portland to start his new Wanderlust Circus with Noah Mickens. He deftly commands his pride of acrobatic lions, his reluctant balancing bear, and the rarely-seen Fannie the Elephant.
Noah Mickens as
William Batty Himself
William Batty is the owner and proprietor of Batty's Hippodrome, a circus from Victorian London that fell on hard times and was forced to embark upon an endless journey through the United States in search of the perfect stage. Mad with strong drink and delusions of grandeur, Battys is nonetheless resolute in his mission to save his circus and spread the word of the coming Rennaissance to the benighted and inhibited masses whose liberation depends upon it.
Noah Mickens is something very similar, though younger and hopefully saner than the caricature he portrays onstage. He has produced, directed, and starred in four independent circus troupes over the past 10 years (Cicuri Curajul, The 999 Eyes of Endless Dream, Societas Insomnia, and Batty's Hippodrome); as well as sitting on the board of directors for 2Gyrlz Performative Arts; serving as booker and promoter of Someday Lounge, Rotture, Branx, The Jasmine Tree, and now the Hippodrome Circus Arts Center; performed with the butoh troupe P.A.N., experimental theater group Implied Violence, ritual performance project Soriah, and numerous others; played percussion with ensembles such as Nequaquam Vacuum and The Steve MacKay Ensemble; and MC-d productions from Drunk Puppet Night to The Bite of Oregon. His work has been the subject of innumerable newspaper and magazine articles, television and radio shows, and government investigations. He also juggles a little.
The ways of the Circus are older than the cities, older than the banks, older even than the churches. These most ancient of performance traditions have always existed just slightly to the left of the Everyday World. Now, at the first flickering of the 21st Century, The Wanderlust Co. has established itself as an association of the finest circus performers in Portland and beyond.
We will not rest until the whole of the world has been entertained.
From the high ceilings to the vintage interior design, the Bossanova Ballroom is a dream location for us. Now that the time is ripe, we're preparing an ongoing series of variety shows on various themes that will establish the Bossanova as a destination for the discerning tourists who are just now discovering our beloved city, as well as local lovers of the arts.
The series itself is named "Wanderlust Presents", a flexible title that will indicate the familiar faces and level of quality behind each performance while allowing us to present shows in a variety of styles and settings. Using the naming convention of "Wanderlust Presents 'Title of the Show' at The Bossanova", we' build the reputation of this proud collaboration while showing off our inspired versatility.
Future Wanderlust Presents show plans include "ALICE IN WONDERLAND", "CIRQUE De L'AMOUR" (a Valentine's weekend dinner circus), and showcases for touring acts.
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