Considering the cancellation of so many wonderful shows due to the ‘coronavirus’. I decided to ‘rerun’ some of the wonderful interviews I did with directors/performers of those shows. Today is the delightful, Jennifer Miller. A uniquely talented performer/director. Listen in as she talks about the show “Bloody Brains in a Jukebox” (written by Dick Zigun with music by Nikos Brisco) that she directed and never ‘OPENED’ due to this event. We are thinking it will arise and OPEN in the not-too-distant future at the delightful Coney Island USA.
Dick Zigun’s rock-opera ‘Bloody Brains in a Jukebox‘ is being directed by none other than Circus Amok’s own Jennifer Miller. I sat down with her at Coney Island USA and ask about the upcoming show and her directing of it.
While best known for such programs as the Mermaid Parade and the Coney Island Circus Sideshow, Coney Island USA has also been the longtime home of Funhouse Philosophers, a resident theater company devoted to presenting the plays of artistic director Dick Zigun, a Yale School of Drama and New Dramatists trained playwright whose previous works have included Dead End Dummy, Killing Republicans, The Ride Inspector’s Nightmare, and last season’s show The Education of Al Capone as Told by Jimmy Durante. In recent years, Funhouse Philosophers has been experimenting with the rock opera format in an effort to make abstract ideas like cosmology accessible via music and parody. Bloody Brains in a Jukebox is the culmination of that long-term exploration.
Funhouse Philosophers is the experimental theater company in residence at Coney Island, USA.
Help Funhouse Philosophers raise funds for our next production!
There is always wonderful performances when you see Circus Amok in the parks. I attended the Tompkins Square Park performance on Sept 14th (one of 5 parks they performed in) and had so much fun! Here are a few photographs and video from the show.
The audience was growing an hour before the show began.Jennifer Miller on stilts announces the beginning of the show.
The Circus Amok even has a tiger trainer.
The audience filled the entry way to the park with children and adults.The Circus Amok clowns had plenty to do and say about America.Jennifer Miller leads the audience through the show with her charming patter.The show always presents wonderful props and scenery to illustrate the theme.Juggling rings and clubs are always a great addition to the circus.
The pyramid balancing of founder/director Jennifer Miller was the finale.
Video Excerpts from the Circus Amok Tompkins Park show.
For those of you not familiar with this wonderful group here is an excerpt from a book written about Radical Street Performance by Mark Sussman.
(Circus Amok…reinventing the circus form, borrowing drag fabulousness from Charles Ludlam’s Theater of the Ridiculous, large scale transformation using whole-body masks from Bread and Puppet Theater, and the outdoor bally and verbal rhythm and repertoire from the sideshow, as well as movement vocabulary from post-modern dance. The troupe balances danger with laughter, slipping its critique between the pies in the face and the surreal, scary, and sometimes gender-bent characters of the charivari.)
On May 1st and 2nd Abrons Arts Center hosted the ever so popular PS122 show Avant-Garde-Arama. Curated by Salley May and featuring numerous downtown performance artist. Friday night was hosted by Erin Markey and Penny Arcade and Sat night was hosted by Erin Markey and Carmelita Tropicana. The list of performers is as follows:
Friday night: Jennifer Miller & John Jasperse, Animals, niv Acosta, Theodora Skipitares, Rebecca Patek, The Ballez by Katy Pyle, Ismael Houston-Jones.
Sat night: John Fleck, Uzi Parnes and Ela Troyano, Half Straddle, Martha Wilson, Travis Chamberlain (for Jennifer Monsoon) Holly Hughes, Jack Ferver, Yin Yue Dance and the Institute for Psychogeographic Adventure.
This video is the OPENING sequence of both nights!
Here are some memorable images from both nights!
Salley May busts thru the “Social Reform” tissue and starts to cause havoc to society.
RCo-Hostesses Erin Markey and Penny Arcade start the show off right.
Representing ‘Movement Research’ – Jennifer Miller and John Jasperse in a dance duo.
Representing Dixon Place – ‘Animals’ performance group.
Representing PS122 – niv Acosta performed a ‘sing along’ with the audience.
Representing LaMama – Theodora Skipitares was projected on a video screen while 2 puppeteers performed on stage.
Representing BAX – The Ballez Dance duo with Katy Pyle
Representing Movement Research – Ishmael Houston-Jones dance a wonderful solo blindfolded.
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Carmelita Tropicana and Erin Markey hosted the Saturday night show with Salley May pitching in.
Representing LaMama – John Fleck performed a lovely solo with flashlight and courage.
Representing The Bushwick Starr – Emile Owens performed a solo on behalf of Half Straddle.
Representing Franklin Furnace – Martha Wilson performed as Tipper Gore.
Representing The New Museum – Travis Chamberlain (for Jennifer Monson) charmed the audience into moving in the theater.
Representing WOW – Holly Hughes performed a monolog.
Representing Abrons Arts Center – Jack Ferver with Reid Bartelme performed a ‘spoken word’ dance duo.
Representing Russell Projects – Yin Yue Dance company did a beautiful piece.
Also present in the show was:
Representing The Chocolate Factory – Rebecca Patek
Representing The Performing Garage/Wooster Group – The Institute for Psychogeographic Adventure
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Video of John Fleck, Yin Yue Dance, Half Straddle, Jack Ferver and Martha Wilson to coming soon!