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.

Today, Mishy and I attended an extremely fun and silly show by Jumbo Shrimp Circus. It surprised me how much I enjoyed it because it isn’t the kind of theatre I tend to enjoy – it isn’t high brow, or philosophical, or emotional or intellectual – it’s fun and silly and you leave the theatre with a bit more practical knowledge of how to become a clown – through practice and start juggling with scarves!

When you enter the theatre, you are greeted by Epoxie, who is cleaning the stage. He is a friendly, slightly melancholy clown who welcomes you, asks your name and lets you know, you can do whatever you like during the show – you can leave, you can walk on stage, you can eat popcorn – which they sell in the lobby and Mishy goggled up – you and your child are free to enjoy yourself and not be restricted. Epoxie isn’t a particularly a talented clown. I think that’s part of his charm. (Philip Briggs, who plays Epoxie performed at Barnum and Bailey Circus.) His lack of “ability” tells the audience it’s fine to make mistakes and I love that message.

The show is completely interactive – audience members are free to sit on stage – which we did, participate in some of the clowning – which everyone did and enjoy in the mayhem. My daughter spinned a plate on a stick today! (I wish I brought a camera.)

Jumbo Shrimp Circus has only two performances left – Wednesday, January 26th, 2011 and Friday, January 28th, 2011 – both shows are at 10:30AM. This show is geared for preschoolers and adults who want to play like preschoolers. The show is one hour long and the time goes by quickly.

To buy tickets, here is the link:

http://events.dailynews.com/los-angeles-ca/events/show/156007005-the-jumbo-shrimp-circus-toddler-theatre

This Saturday, we went to see Circus INcognitus at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. Circus INcognitus is the brainchild of Jamie Adkins, a native Californian who now makes his home in Montreal with his wife and infant daughter. His wife, Amanda Russell, is his production director. She carries their daughter in an Ergo and the three of them travel together, presenting the show at various places around the world.

He is a clown who juggles, tight rope walks, performs magic, and makes people laugh by his ingenuity. With simple props, such as a chair, a cardboard box, a sheet of paper, some rope, two forks, two grapes, oranges, a melon, and a ladder, he creates an incredibly entertaining 50 minutes of delight, wonder, and fun. It’s a great show to laugh – just laugh while watching – which is an amazing stress reliever and keeps our brains flexible. (No wonder during the Great Depression, escapist comedies and animation movies were number one at the box office.)

After the show, Mr. Adkins participates in a relaxed question and answer period where his most common answer was – practice. How did you learn how to juggle? Practice. How did you learn how to catch certain props with your mouth? Practice. How did you learn to balance? Practice. It’s such an honest answer. (I’ve read from several sources that it takes 1000 hours of practice before you become a master.) He also mentioned the importance of having a mentor when it came to performing some of the more difficult acrobatics of his show – to do things safely. My husband wanted to ask him if he’s broken any bones in his body, but another audience member asked first. Yes, he sprained his ankle and broke a bone on his foot. How? He slipped on a grape and on some cold days, he still feels it. He talked very openly about his experience as a young man who learned how to juggle at 13 years of age and did his first sommersault at the age of 22. At 40 years of age, he defeats the common idea of acrobats retiring at 30 – truly inspirational – do what you love, with care and practice and you can continue to do it for as long as you want.

This show is appropriate for all ages. There is a short talk before the show, the show is 50 minutes long, and the talk back is 20 minutes long. Mishy sat in the theatre for 1.5 hours – her first time seeing a full production.

After the show, being inspired, she tried to walk all over the restaurant we ate at. (We stopped in across the street at Mezza – which offers 10% to theatre patrons – just present your ticket stub. It’s mediterranean food and delicious.)

Details:

Circus INcognitus at the Kirk Douglas Theatre for a very limited run,

January 15th at 11AM & 3PM; January 16th at 3PM, January 22 at 11AM & 3PM; January 23 at 3PM

All tickets $20. $10 for KDT members.

http://www.centertheatregroup.org:80/tickets/productiondetail.aspx?id=14329