After a two-week vacation-related hiatus, the Friday drama column of The Wall Street Journal is open for business again this morning. I reviewed two shows, Slava’s Snowshow and an off-off-Broadway revival of Joe Orton’s Entertaining Mr. Sloane, and liked them both:
Created by Slava Polunin, best known in the U.S. for his work with Cirque du Soleil, “Slava’s Snowshow” is a zany fantasia for five melancholy-looking Russian clowns, several squirt bottles full of water, a dozen or so king-sized balloons, enough fog to shut down an airport and enough confetti to welcome home an astronaut.
I’m acutely allergic to pretentious clownery, so when I read that Mr. Polunin was influenced by Fellini and describes his brand of theater as “counter-Beckett,” I reached for the nearest cream pie. Fortunately, nobody says anything out loud in “Slava’s Snowshow” (nothing intelligible, that is), and whatever Mr. Polunin thinks it all means, the results aren’t even slightly intellectual, though my guess is that American dancegoers will detect a certain resemblance to the quirky comedy of Pilobolus Dance Theatre, minus the dancing. To be sure, the self-contained vignettes that make up “Slava’s Snowshow” are not without their dark moments–especially the bit in which Mr. Bolunin lurches around the stage with a chestful of arrows