Marcel + The Art of Laughter OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Sara Krulwich
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    October 27, 2017
    Closing:
    November 19, 2017

    Theater: Polonsky Shakespeare Center / 262 Ashland Place, Brooklyn, NY 11217

    Synopsis: 

    Marcel:

    From Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, the Parisian home of Peter Brook, comes a poignant two-hander about the collision of clowning and mortality. Jos Houben and Marcello Magni, who starred in Samuel Beckett’s Fragments at TFANA, are comic masters and original members of the famed Complicité. In Marcel, which they co-created, they play an aging physical comedian and an inscrutable, clipboard-wielding nemesis mysteriously enjoined to test him with a battery of absurd tasks. Slapstick meets the limits of age and “all ages laugh and recognize their own absurdity in the comic antics.” – The Guardian

    The Art of Laughter:

    A comedy about comedy about what makes audiences laugh. Performing in English, Jos Houben dissects everyday life – a baby’s first steps, a man falling in a restaurant, the essence of various cheeses – revealing why laughter is at the core of our humanity.  The Guardian calls it a show about “how a body can make people laugh.”

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Marcel + The Art of Laughter

    In a Double Bill of Physical Comedy, Laughter Is the Best Reflex

    Jesse Green

    November 1, 2017:

    Let’s say you’ve got a toothache or a crumbling political system and aren’t in the mood to laugh.

    Tough luck. You’re going to laugh anyway.

    According to the oddball double bill of “Marcel” and “The Art of Laughter” that opened on Wednesday at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center, it isn’t up to you. The two one-hour offerings presented by Theater for a New Audience posit and then set out to prove — the first in slapstick form, the second in a kind of TED Talk — that laughter is a predictable, reproducible, inescapable reflex.

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