Transfringement: Circus Mojo Refudiates the Norm (Review)

As its puzzling mouthful of a title suggests, Transfringement: Circus Mojo Refudiates the Norm is a quirky show with a few too many balls in the air. Five diverse performers from this Ludlow, Kentucky-based circus troupe and training center take turns c

First rule of juggling: If you can’t catch it, don’t throw it.

As its puzzling mouthful of a title suggests, Transfringement: Circus Mojo Refudiates the Norm is a quirky show with a few too many balls in the air. Five diverse performers from this Ludlow, Kentucky-based circus troupe and training center take turns charming and occasionally impressing the audience with a series of old-school stunts: tightrope-walking, hubcap-spinning, ring-tossing, ladder-climbing, roller skating, barrel-walking, hoop-swinging, partner-balancing and so on. But there are at least as many misses as hits — and not much holding the brief acts together, aside from an oddly assembled soundtrack and recurring comic references to Sarah Palin.

There is, however, mojo to spare in the presence of one cast member: Ghana-born Emmanuel Tawiah narrates his remarkable life story while juggling, climbing, tumbling and wheeling around a stage (at the Know Theatre) far too small to contain his big, joyous energy. The multi-talented Eric Quast, an acrobat with a surprisingly beautiful singing voice, is another young standout in the cast.

All the Circus Mojo players have grace and heart. Their hard-earned (if mostly modest) skills deserve an original and cohesive theatrical vehicle. A real playwright, composer, director, and designers would help. So would a more manageable number of flying objects.

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