Ring in the new year by going dumpster diving with circus folk. “Yes Sweet Can” is an unabashedly kooky, sexy and surreal show exploring emotional terrain and perennially current issues in tandem, upside down, on one foot, and with no hands. An enthralling show for all ages, it brings a fresh perspective to what’s easily discarded and overlooked in a consumerist age.
Inspired by the change of political/social/economic climate following Obama’s election, the show opens with the cast huddling behind a window, daunted by a storm. Forces sweep the motley clown crew outside where they become active (and mighty flexible) participants of life. Soon their relationships ignite an inner bonfire that warms the cold and transmutes life’s lead balloons into winged dreams shared, even realized.
It’s an hour filled with levity and strange, stunning images: buoyantly dancing trash cans, a badass clown who’s a glutton for hula hoops, a harshly lit hardcore aerial dance, the swoon of a man dancing with a broom, a disco Shiva serving sweets, and more. Gallivanting in a set design that looks like found objects from Capp Street (minus the landmines), the Sweet Can team conjures a landscape that “reveals the magic in the mundane,” gliding and tumbling to the electronic compositions and tasty trumpet playing of EO (Brass Menazeri Balkan Brass Band, Gamelan X)
Clearly all stage performers possess jaw-dropping technical skills. There were times I would’ve lit a dozen candles to saints in fierce prayer, had I not been frozen on the edge of the seat. Acrobatic feats and choreographies are managed with remarkable ease and grace, articulating complex qualities and emotions.
Sweet Can ensemble is an eight-member team of two directors, musician/composer, lighting director and circus artists. Individually their diverse backgrounds include Burning Man projects, site specific work, Broadway runs, and of course, solid stints with circuses here and abroad.
One can’t help but to think the show’s theme of resourcefulness echoes the teamwork magic needed to get “Yes Sweet Can” off the ground. The show is fully self-produced without grants or subsidies – a financial feat more precarious than a greased high wire act. They offset production costs by selling Sweet Can merchandise (such as adorable panties and manties) and requesting donations. Tickets are affordable at fifteen and twenty dollars, making quality circus arts more accessible.
“Yes Sweet Can” is Sweet Can’s second production, created to “reinforce the concept that the things we need are always around us, and simply by being ourselves we can bring joy to one another.”
We’ve all felt love, got pissed, wept in the night, and considered the risks. Emotions, the seemingly fragile thread linking everyone together, are the common denominator on which “Yes Sweet Can” boldly dangles. Like a paper moon illuminating fire, catch it while you can.
Performers: Beth Clarke, Kerri Kresinski, Natasha Kaluza and Matt White
Musician/Composer: Eric Oberthaler
Lighting Director: Tad Shannon
Directors: Wendy Parkman and Joanna Haigood