The Bumblinni Brothers Show | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Bumblinni Brothers Show


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The Bumblinni Brothers Show, Circus Tortellini in association with the Actors Gymnasium, Noyes Cultural Arts Center. Paul Kalina and Chuck Stubbings are Tony and Tony Bumblinni, last in the family line of eccentric circus performers, in this delightful new show featuring "acts of underrehearsed proportions." Cowriter Kevin Theis's taut direction keeps the antics on track without damaging the engagingly loosey-goosey improvisational quality of the duo's interactions with each other and the audience. Latecomers are mocked, those wearing their hats indoors are chided, and audience volunteers are incorporated into acts ranging from the "Magicallinni" disappearing-watch trick to the nail-biting "Whipallinni," in which Kalina flicks a party favor from the teeth of a brave volunteer. The two are longtime circus arts vets--Kalina most recently appeared in 500 Clown Macbeth, and Stubbings has worked with Flying Griffin Circus and Ringling Bros. Their deliberately artless approach is a huge part of the fun here, and their chemistry is flawless as they exchange physical gags, insults, and malapropisms of the Norm Crosby variety. There are some mildly naughty innuendos, but the show is appropriate for kids as well as adults.

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