November 21, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Circus Luminous 2012

“Wise Fool’s annual luminosity and a deliriously delicious feast…”

By Tom Maguire

Culture Vulture

Tom Maguire is a musician, arts supporter and a guy who travels the Southwest in a 13’ Scamp trailer, because he couldn’t figure out how the tent poles went together.

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It’s that time of year again; when I give thanks for the amazing talents of the folks over at Wise Fool, as they launch their annual holiday weekend extravaganza at The Lensic in the form of Circus Luminous. This petite offering of the circus arts has always been my preferred diet of circus fare. I have enjoyed this kind of intimate circus experience more than the “Water for Elephants” type of epic circus event, ever since I first saw the Big Apple Circus. It is all about the vibrant young performers—their skills, their feats, their storytelling, their humor.

A Thanksgiving weekend tradition since 2002, Circus Luminous 2012 will again feature acrobats, trapeze artists, stilt-walkers, clowns, and dancers. Written and directed by Wise Fool’s  Sarah-Jane Moody, with original music composed by Jeremy Bleich, the production features local performers from Wise Fool New Mexico, Moving Arts Española  and the break-dancing ensemble 3 HC Holy Faith.

This year’s production follows fictional reporter Charlie Sparrow, who is assigned to travel with the Luminous Family Circus and write about its 10th anniversary show. He’s not very happy about the situation.

“He wants the real news, but he’s assigned to cover this thing, so what can he do?” said writer/director Moody.

On the road, Charlie finds himself surrounded by frolicking circus performers who travel by unicycle, do aerial acrobatics while setting up camp and go tightrope walking on the lines they use for drying laundry. Though he’s grumpy at first, eventually even Charlie discovers the beauty and magic of the circus.

Charlie is played by guest artist Rod Harrison a formidable presence on the Santa Fe theatrical scene. Harrison last performed in Santa Fe in 2011, in Ironweed Productions’ "American Buffalo." He’s worked with Theater Grottesco since 1996 and has also worked with Sideshow Physical Theater and Dandelion Dancetheater in San Francisco.

Moody, who performed in all nine previous Circus Luminous productions and wrote and directed one of them, said Wise Fool played with several ideas about what to do for the 10th anniversary show, but ultimately decided a simple story would work best. “It’s a story of the kid inside all of us who can fall in love with a circus over and over again,” said Moody, during a break in rehearsals at Wise Fool’s Agua Fria Street studios.

An extra treat for this holiday season is a Sunday event Wise Fool is calling A Luminous Feast—The Deliriously Delicious Arts Patronage Experience Of The Season! The event takes place Sunday, November 25 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Taberna La Boca the new place run by chef/owner James Campbell. 

For more information on what James Campbell and the Wise Fool folks have in-store for you and to purchase tickets to this special event go online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/291280.

A Luminous Feast continues the tradition of Wise Fool's annual Feast of Fools, a night of sumptuous cuisine, wine, music, entertainment and general revelry! This year the feast honors the 10th Anniversary of Circus Luminous. All proceeds from the event will directly support  Wise Fool's award-winning, year-round arts performances and educational programs.

Tickets for Circus Luminous 2012 performances are sold separately for $10-$30, with discounts available for students and Lensic members. Tickets are available by phone at 505-988-1234, online at www.lensic.org or www.TicketsSantaFe.org, or in person at Tickets Santa Fe at The Lensic.

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