On any given evening, join one of our sensational hosts, The Maine Attraction and Ivory Fox, for the first circus and variety show to open in Downtown Brooklyn. The showcase will feature live aerialists, legendary burlesque performers, and award-winning variety acts.
From the wilds of the UK Jon Udry performed a wonderful ‘juggling/striptease’ routine and then a charming teacup and teabag juggling routine.
Ermiyas Muluken performed a feat of balance and then juggled clubs while being 4 levels up on a rolla-bolla.
The performers in this show would usually be on stage getting a nice salary for their act but due to the ‘shut down’ they are here for your entertainment. Please consider donating at the options listed above!
Drew Nugent played a song on the piano and performed with the cute little teacup and mouthpiece. (A unique instrument for sure!)
The second week of The Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show – Quarantine Edition was so much fun. Now we get to see all this great talent every Monday instead of waiting for a whole month. Of course, I miss the LIVE performance at Dixon Place but in the meantime, this is so special! Screengrabs are certainly not a good replacement for good quality camera files but we have to live with what we have at the moment. Here goes week #2!
Keith Nelson opened the show with his ‘Chinese yoyo‘ act. Here is the wonderful top spinning meditation. How long could you look at a top spinning?
Book Kennison juggled with a ceiling secured camera so the viewers had a curious angle to view his juggling routine. Original music and unique viewing angle.
Filling in for another act Michael Rosman performs a rather complicated stunt. Lighting a gasoline-soaked marshmallow that’s sitting on his shoe with his flaming ukelele and then kicking the marshmallow up to be caught by the Nutella spread on a graham cracker he is holding in his mouth. It all worked out well! Thanks for that Michael!
Tyler West is one of my favorite performers. He always gives his show 100% no matter what. Tonight he performed a ‘pantomime’ with an Eric Satie soundtrack. It was surreal and lovely. Great skills mixed with emotion and joy.
Cardone performed a wonderful array of great card manipulations. A master card trick magician (among other great magic skills) and ventriloquist.
Coney Island Chris (Chris Alison) stunned the viewers with his strange ‘eating glass’ stunt. Chewing on a GE light bulb and swallowing the glass particles was both strange and funny. He claims to have learned his skills in a ‘How-to internet Sideshow course’.
I met Luca online as he was perusing the internet for historical information on the art of Quick Change. I had begun writing a book in 1989 title “Quick Change in American Vaudeville” which I researched for over 3 years and had accumulated many volumes of xerox copies (Pre-Internet days).
Having posted a few items on this blog Luca was interested in finding out more about the American history of Quick Change. He is from Naples and only knew the artist from his country and Europe. I emailed him and we set up a time/date for an interview. I thought using Zoom would be great. He agreed but then we realized his English wasn’t up to par (and my Italian was terrible!) to do a thorough interview. I then emailed him the questions I wanted to ask him and he answered them in text. Here is the interview and a video clip of our attempt at a Zoom interview. Along with some videos of his performances.
Interview with Luca Lombardo
Q: You are a magician, quick-change artist, magician, and clown. Can you give us a little history about these skills and where you acquired them? What schools you attended or what teachers you studied with?
Luca: When I discovered the art of magic I was 15 years old and it really moved me. I studied every kind of magic for many years attending workshops and conferences of worldwide fame magicians. I decided it was my path when I watched Arturo Brachetti’s theatrical show. So I studied clownery both in Italy and abroad while I was practicing my magic tricks. I came up with the idea of a quick-change act with magic tricks. At first, I started only as a magician I then evolved in time as a clown developing a much deeper understanding of the audience.
Q: Can you tell us about your thoughts regarding the mixing of all these wonderful disciplines?
Luca: You can use as many tools and disciplines as you acknowledge to tell a story. The message is important. I love being and playing the clown because it is the closest to the truth, you can’t lie to your audience. However, my character is not a pure clown and I like to use my character to create my story.
Q: In a few articles I have read they refer to you as “The Crazy Performer”. Can you tell me why you got that title from the press?
Luca: I got this nickname because I always tried to overthrow all theatrical rules still existing in the conservative Italian theatre scene.
Q: I read a quote that mentioned ‘Fregolian Transformation”. Can you tell us what that is?
Luca: The Fregolian Transformation is a transformation not only in the clothes but also in the character, the moves, the attitude. In my act, there is a story and I have to change character not only a costume. In the Russian quick-change instead, the artist changes the only costume and the effort is more in the choreography of it, the story is less important.
Q: While you were in Rome a few years ago you met with Augusto Fornari who helped you write your current show: “Poubelle – Magic Beyond Imagination”. He also directed you in this new show. Can you tell us about the work you did with him?
Luca: Augusto Fornari is also a film director and he is a very much acclaimed artist in Italy. I owe him everything as he believed in my talent and my creativity since the beginning. We are friends and I am very happy to be his friend.
Q: One of the things I heard about your show was the importance of empathy. Can you tell us how important this emotion is for you in your work?
Luca: Empathy is what makes an artist happy. I think an artist needs emotions and if you are able to pass these emotions on to your audience, those will come back to you and it probably means you did a good job! I like to gift my audience an emotional and maybe surreal performance. I feel more grateful when someone says you really moved me instead of appreciating how quickly I was with the changes.
Q: Why do you think “Poubelle” has been so successful?
Luca: The nice thing about ‘Poubelle’ is that despite the fact that the character never speaks, he still manages to reach everyone. Empathy with the public is certainly the key to the success of this character. It is not a traditional show but a story of my childhood, the story of my life. With my dress changes – from Peter Pan to Mary Poppins to Super Mario Bros – I am able to tell my world. And this world then becomes that of the spectator who identifies with Poubelle. The great success of this character makes it clear that we all need magic and to play again.
Q: What does magic represent for you?
Luca: Magic is the ability to bring others into your dream, into your world. Changing the world is becoming increasingly difficult, but each of us can create one of our own in which to transport people. The magician does this by profession
Q: What are you working on now? Any new shows? Luca: It is very hard to think about future projects right now with the ongoing virus outbreak. I am supposed to be on stage in France at the ‘Avignon Off Festival’ next July. If everything goes further I will preview a new interactive quick-change act where a member of the audience chooses the character I change into.
Poubelle is a multitalented show ( Without words) : magic, poetry, comedy, and solo quick change. In this video the quick change it’s in real-time NO EDITING
Photographs of Characters from Luca Lombardo’s show