BWW Reviews: Circus Flora's Delightful Production: THE PAWN
By Chris Gibson
June 9 2014
Here in St. Louis we should never take for granted the fact that we have our very own circus. Of course, I'm talking about Circus Flora, the one ring big top that you'll find around this time every year situated just behind Powell Symphony Hall. And, this is a circus with a great deal of thought behind it. A theme is chosen, the book is written, acts are put together with an original score (composers Miriam Cutler and Janine Del'Arte), and a show is presented that combines all these elements in grand fashion. Take your family to Circus Flora's The Pawn (through June 22, 2014) and they will not be disappointed!
This year's theme is chess, and unbeknownst to me, St. Louis is a real hotbed for the game. In keeping with this idea the ring is lit (brilliantly by designer Christine Ferriter) to resemble the playing surface. Yo-Yo, our narrator (Cecil Mackinnon, who also directed the production), guides us through various moves centered around the maneuvers of a particular pawn (juggler and clown Adam Kuchler). From there we're treated to both a succession of moves, as well as an array of talented, athletic acts that thrilled the audience (as well as my son and I).
You'll laugh at the antics of Andriy Bilobrov's irrepressibly cute Jack Russell Terriers, you'll be amazed at the leaps a man can take on a horse at full gallop (S. Caleb Carinci-Asch), and you'll see some genuinely wild juggling from Finnish duo Kate and Pasi. Ian Garden Jr. has brought the Henning Camels to the show, which are really cool to see outside a zoo setting, but it was the St. Louis Arches that brought down the house with their acrobatic splendor. And, lest we forget there is the death defying high wire work of the Flying Wallendas, the solo trapeze work of Claire Kuciejczyk-Kernan, and the Flying Cortes, who flip through the air with controlled abandon to close out the festivities.
I highly recommend Circus Flora's The Pawn! It's an absolutely delightful experience and it's only here through June 22,2014.