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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

BANANA SHPEEL TO CLOSE SOONER THAN EXPECTED!


A scene from Banana Shpeel.

photo by Kristie Kahns

Banana Shpeel Will Split NYC Sooner Than Expected;

Cirque du Soleil Show to Close June 27

By Kenneth Jones, 14 Jun 2010

Banana Shpeel, the Cirque du Soleil entertainment that mixed vaudeville with circus arts, will close sooner than expected — June 27, five weeks after its May 19 opening — at New York City's Beacon Theatre.
Previews began April 29. The Manhattan launch had been delayed several times in order to further develop the show. It had its world premiere in Chicago in fall 2009.
A North American tour is promised for fall. David Shiner (Fool Moon, Seussical) devised and directed the production, which was to be a limited engagement at the Beacon to Aug. 29. Sales were softer than expected in New York.



Daniel Passer, Danny Rutigliano and Wayne Wilson in Banana Shpeel.

photo by Olivier Samson Arcand

Banana Shpeel features an international cast of 38 performers including the main character of over-the-top producer Schmelky (who was put front-and-center in a last-minute re-branding of the show this spring), played by Broadway veteran Danny Rutigliano, best known for his role as Timon in The Lion King. Assisting Schmelky are two slapstick sidekicks (Daniel Passer and Wayne Wilson) and assistant Margaret (Shereen Hickman)."As Schmelky works to complete his latest show," he is disrupted by a comedic trio, Claudio Carneiro, Patrick de Valette and Gordon White.
Expect acrobatic performances, including Russian hand balancer Dmitry Bulkin; Vietnamese hat juggler Tuan Le; Spanish foot juggler Vanessa Alvarez; Canadian hand-to-hand duo Preston Jamieson and Kesley Wiens; and Russian contortionists Tsybenova Ayagma, Tsydendambaeva Imin and Zhambalova Lilia.
Banana Shpeel features dance, too: brother-sister tap dance duo Joseph and Josette Wiggan and a ensemble including Robyn Baltzer, Kassie Brown, Adrienne Jean Fisher, DeWitt Fleming Jr., Karida Griffith, Luke Hawkins, Kathleen Hennessey, Adrienne Reid, Anthony J. Russo, Melissa Schott, Josh Scribner, Alexis Sims and Steven T. Williams.

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