Friday, March 20, 2009

So Long - Theater - The Stranger, Seattle's Only Newspaper:

One summer—roughly around the time that Burning Man, the Country Fair's electrified nephew, was becoming popular enough to ban guns—an old yellow school bus rolled into the performers' camping area and disgorged a younger, more sinister-looking pack of vaudevillians. They were scruffy road dogs in dusty suit vests and battered dress shoes. Instead of red wine and marijuana, they carried a whiff of whiskey and opium. They played music that sounded more like 1920s Gypsy jazz and Kurt Weill cabaret songs, and they comported themselves with a haggard romanticism, a gutter-dandy air that wouldn't become popular in rock and neo-burlesque clubs until years later. Their show fulfilled the promise of their entrance. It was all the usual tricks—juggling, acrobatics, sword swallowing, trapeze—but to my young eyes, Circus Contraption's stylish cirque noir made the rest of the Country Fair crowd look like weekend warriors.