Yesterday, we were privy to a sophisticated, unique, challenging, and unexpected concert for families as part of ULCA Live! at Royce Hall. Bill Frisell Trio performed music they composed specifically for two Buster Keaton short films, High Sign and One Week, as well as two animated shorts called The Whim Grinder by Jim Woodring Animation.

The show opened up with a series of shapes and images which explored themes of spirituality, the evolution of consciousness, and the contrast between horror and beauty while Bill Frisell Trio played. Mishy was fascinated by the shapes. I was fascinated with how the images and music complemented each other. My husband was amazed by the quality of the music. The opening sequence was an abstract sensation for the ears and eyes which set off the tone for the rest of the afternoon.

I had never seen a Buster Keaton film before. I had heard about Mr. Keaton’s greatness. Yesterday afternoon, I was introduced to Buster Keaton in a very special way.  Bill Frisell Trio took me on a journey into the classic comedic films of Buster Keaton by playing music which enhanced what was seen on-screen. The music complimented the story and added to the overall pleasure of watching comedy that was intelligent, not just farcical. Sometimes it was a simple tap-tap on the drums or a beautiful, sweeping audio landscape of breathtaking music. When the show was over, we reluctantly left our seats, wishing for more. Much more.

The Bill Frisell Trio is Bill Frisell on guitar, Tony Scherr on bass, and Tony Wollesen on drums. This was their only stop in Los Angeles. They will be returning to the Village Vanguard in New York for an extended run, starting on April 17th.

UCLA Live! offers quality shows for adults and families including Arlo Guthrie on April 8th at 8PM. UCLA Live! also offers special programs for underprivileged children and are looking for donations to their program, Design For Sharing.

Details:

Bill Frisell Trio

http://www.billfrisell.com/

UCLA Live!

http://www.uclalive.org/

Design For Sharing

http://www.uclalive.org/community/design/

 

Mishy waiting to see Epoxie. We there early. She was very excited.

Mishy and I have seen a lot of shows since first visiting Epoxie in Studio City at Two Roads Theatre two months ago. When I told Mishy, Epoxie was again performing in a revamped show, she wanted to see him right away. As soon as the theatre doors opened last Monday, she ran inside and was welcomed by Epoxie, played lovingly by Philip Briggs, an experienced clown who has the ability to make everyone feel at home, feel heard, respected, and enjoy their time by laughing. And laugh we did. A lot.

Mishy balancing a peacock feather on her hand.

We also learned a few circus tricks. The show is incredibly interactive. Children and parents are welcome to sit up on stage and participate as much as they would like. In fact, the rules of the show are: you may eat – popcorn is sold in the lobby – you may walk around, you may talk to Epoxie during the show, you may even leave – though I can’t imagine anyone wanting to leave because it really is a fun show.

Mishy performing her circus trick.

Mishy even performed a trick of her own. She put her hands behind her back and asked him if he knew where her hands are. While the show has a structure, Epoxie welcomes audience suggestions. One girl asked Epoxie to juggle while balancing a peacock feather on his foot and he tried and did it – just because she asked and even thanked her for the suggestion.

Epoxie about to juggle and balance a peacock feather on his foot.

What I love about this show is that it gives the tools of how to juggle, how to balance things on body parts, how to perform magic tricks – how to be a clown! – in a way that children feel like it’s natural for them to know and learn and practice and have fun trying.

Mishy is balancing a plate on a stick!

There are many wonderful opportunities to enjoy theatre with your children in Los Angeles and The Magical and Joyful Spectacle of Epoxie produced by Jumbo Shrimp Circus is a must see for parents and children in their early years. Again and again. We plan to return and bring a lot of our community of friends with us.

Balloons for everyone!

When the show was over, every child was able to take one balloon with them as a souvenir.  Mishy didn’t want to leave until she saw Epoxie was in the lobby, signing balloons.

What I also love about this show? It is so clear to me how much Philip Briggs cares about doing a great show for his audience. He’s a father. He has so much patience for being with children and loves playing with them, while being entertaining and letting the children and adults learn a few circus tricks at the same time.

Details:

The Magical and Joyful Spectacle of Epoxie

Two Road Theatre

4348 Tujunga Avenue, Studio City, CA 91604

Sunday 11AM, Monday at 1:30PM

Tickets are: $10 for children $12 for adults, $8 per child for groups of 10 or more.

http://www.jumboshrimpcircus.com/boxoffice

facebook.com/jumboshrimpcircus

Bonus Photos:

Mishy hiding behind a balloon.

Now, she's really hiding.