Banana Shpeel OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

  • NY TIMES

  • NY POST

  • VARIETY

  • TM

  • BACKSTAGE

Opening Night:
May 19, 2010
Closing:
June 27, 2010

Theater: Beacon Theatre / 2124 Broadway, New York, NY, 10023

Synopsis: 

Propelled by crazy humor and intense choreography, Banana Shpeel plunges us into the world of Schmelky, a brash, ambitious producer who is trying to put together a spectacular variety show. His world is populated with sidekicks, dancers, singers and novelty acts – and a trio of badly-behaved clowns who crash the auditions spreading chaos in all directions.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Banana Shpeel

    Ready or Not, Here Come the Clowns

    Neil Genzlinger

    May 25, 2010: Dear Theater Ethicist: Should I feel guilty that, for me, the most satisfying moment of Cirque du Soleil’s “Banana Shpeel” came when a clown was riddled with mock machine-gun fire?

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  • NEW YORK POST REVIEW OF Banana Shpeel

    Clown flop lacks a-peel

    Frank Scheck

    May 22, 2010: 'Banana Shpeel," the new, vaudeville-style entertainment at the Beacon Theatre, is that rare show that critiques itself. "This place is infested with clowns," complains its frustrated producer/emcee, Schmelky (Danny Rutigliano) -- and most of us in the audience would agree.

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  • VARIETY REVIEW OF Banana Shpeel

    Banana Shpeel

    Steven Suskin

    May 20, 2010: Cirque de Soleil slipped on a "Banana Shpeel" of its own making when it opened its vaudeville-inspired, legit-bound extravaganza in December at the Chicago Theater. The dire reception caused the February 4 New York premiere to be postponed again and again while the Cirque wizards unzipped the banana and painstakingly patched it back into shape. Easier said than done; but the delays and the Cirque/MSG bankroll have allowed writer/director David Shiner to turn this fruit salad into a veritable banana split of a show, with three creamy scoops topped by gloppy fudge and plenty of nuts.

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  • THEATERMANIA REVIEW OF Banana Shpeel

    Banana Shpeel

    Dan Bacalzo

    May 21, 2010: Cirque du Soleil pours on plenty of old-fashioned razzle-dazzle in the company's latest extravaganza, Banana Shpeel, now making its long-delayed debut at the Beacon Theatre. Following a brief comedic prologue, we get a big, flashy opening number, and at various points in the proceedings, dancers come on for some energetic routines, choreographed by Jared Grimes. Dominique Lemieux's colorful costumes have appeal, and there's a slickness to the overall look of the show, which is written and directed by David Shiner. However, the evening as a whole ends up being only mildly entertaining.

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  • BACKSTAGE REVIEW OF Banana Shpeel

    Banana Shpeel

    Tom Penketh

    May 26, 2010: Writer-director David Shiner knows how to put on an old-fashioned show, and that's what he's done with "Banana Shpeel," the latest offering from Cirque du Soleil. Shiner is perhaps best known as a performer in Cirque's 1990 show "Nouvelle Expérience" and in "Fool Moon," his collaboration with fellow clown Bill Irwin. More recently, Shiner took the helm of the Cirque show "Kooza," which was performed in New York last year on Randall's Island. For his second piece with the Quebec troupe, he decided to do a show that, in his words, "tips its hat to vaudeville" while staying rooted in Cirque's "beloved dreamscape."

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