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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Breathing life into the traveling circus legacy


By Heather Youmans

November 30, 2011

An audience from around Orange County and beyond congregated inside a circus tent pitched at the Irvine Barclay Theatre's Cheng Hall for a one-hour extravaganza featuring one man.
Surprisingly, there was never a dull moment.
Stand-alone showman Jamie Adkins gave himself his own drum roll during the Thanksgiving weekend in "Circus Incognitus," which showcased the range of his mind-boggling circus talents that included pantomime, stunning tricks, juggling and acrobatics.



Adkins was as entertaining and engaging as a cast of 30 in a Broadway musical. His incredible showmanship held the audience's attention from start to finish and left onlookers wondering what he was going to do next.
In "Circus Incognitus," Adkins plays a clumsy character — a clown who is desperately trying to get his act together. Along the way, he stumbles and makes mistakes, but the audience loved it.
Behind their laughter lay a simple truth: No one wants to watch someone who is perfect. Audiences prefer characters who are flawed and quirky, and they thirst for the essence of an ordinary man and a performance that captures moments found in everyday life.
Adkins made the clumsy look easy. In a madness of organized chaos, he performed some astonishing tricks with such ease. But in reality, he was bluffing; the stumbling merely added to the suspense.

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