(Photo by Eric Ljung)
Classic American Vaudeville meets the chaotic energy of the American sub-culture continuum in *The Circuit,* an ecstatic, audience-engulfing variety show for outcasts of the post-industrial age.
Called “the heart of American show business,” Vaudeville is remembered as the variety show that unleashed dancers, musicians, comedians, trained animals, female and male impersonators, acrobats, children, and lecturing celebrities onto a single bill. Vaudeville was the place where different parts of the American subculture first met, eyed each other warily, and commenced the give-and-take that defines the American experiment. With jitters and juggalos, candy ravers and riot grrrls, *The Circuit* checks in on this grand experiment one century later in this hilarious and strange new work that brings Vaudeville into the Internet age. Think the Marx Brothers meets David Lynch meets the New Dance Show meets Bikini Kill meets something you’ve never heard of. With door prizes. And Faygo.
The Circuit was performed in Detroit at Play House and Trinosophes before touring to Alverno Presents (Milwaukee) and Legion Arts (Cedar Rapids) in 2013. A first showing of *The Circuit* called *Voice of the City* and focused on Detroit’s voix-de-ville premiered at Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) in July 2012 and micro-toured to Detroit’s Bangtown neighborhood in August 2012. The piece was reconfigured in fall 2012 as a part of the Shanghai Biennial’s city pavilions.
Performed and created by Torri Ashford, Barney Baggett, Liza Bielby, Jon Brumit, Richard Newman and Haleem Rasul. With technician Dave Sanders. Scenic design by Zeb Smith; lighting design by Aaron Weissman, and sight-gag design by Shoshanna Utchenik. Directed by Richard Newman with Liza Bielby. Early versions created with the collaboration of Eleni Zaharopoulos and Leanne Turrell. Funded in part by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and National Performance Network Creation Fund. Co-commission by Alverno Presents and MOCAD, with additional developmental support from Power House Productions.