You'll find someone true.
Down in the underground,
A land serene,
A crystal moon..."
-- David Bowie, "Underground"
So I just had a wonderful evening last night. And where did I have it?
Attending the season-opening performance of the Vespertine Circus at the Vagabond Ballroom.
Let's start with the music: the Vespertine Orchestra (who is not always in attendance, as I understand) struck me as a strange mix of Emilie Autumn and calliope music. Which, if you've heard Ms. Autumn before, you probably realize is actually fairly awesome mix and perfect for a small circus. (That sounds like a dig at Emilie Autumn somehow... it isn't really).
When the Orchestra wasn't playing, bits and pieces of interesting discordia was piped through the speakers, including bits from certain awesome soundtracks (I definitely heard some Sherlock Holmes in there).
As to the performance: a little bit vaudeville, a little bit punk, a little bit romantic, and a whole lot of charm; the entire evening was filled with astonishing delights and amazing acrobatics, amusing clowns and astounding juggling.
The ringmaster, Dr. Jack, was striking in his eye-directing bombasity and hoodwinking charlatanry. I was near to buying a bit of snake-oil from him myself.
Clowns Phineas and James MacConn did daring acts of balance and great physical comedy, and, along with fellow clown Elijah, they performed some amazing jugglery (and no shortage of tomfoolery).
The Mechanical Doll, Jezebel Wilder, was lovely and graceful, not to mention an elegant vision of beauty during her aerial silk ballet. While the handsome Phineas (mentioned above) also does positively astounding rope work himself.
And Elijah, one of the newest members of the crew, pulls off some immensely awesome hoop work.
Last night they were also accompanied by Jingles Frasier, a bellydancer extraordinaire, with some excellent shimmy and lots of jingle. Quite the pleasure to watch.
And finally, my personal favorite: La Petite Tilly Rex, the very tiny and super adorable enfant-terrible of the Vespertine's clown-set. She is a physical humorist of no mean talents. Also, she eats fire. So rather super awesome, too.
I don't want to ruin all the surprises for you, so I'll leave it at that.
The fact of the matter is that the Vespertine Circus was an immense delight, and my words can't really endorse or recommend them nearly as well as they deserve. A charming set of performers and personae who put on a lovely show in a comfortable space and are a pure joy to watch. They make me want to run off and join the circus.
Certainly worth a Friday evening with friends or a significant other (or potential significant other, hint, hint). Though I'd definitely recommend pre-ordering your tickets either way for the best deal on entry - not that this crew isn't worth full admission - just that you should take advantage of the fact that they are so willing to give you such a great price on such a lovely evening.
And for those that are wondering, I'll likely be at Club Nocturne tonight at the very same Vagabond Ballroom. Feel free to stop by and buy me a drink.
-- Mr. M.