- Terelle Jerricks
By John Farrell
It’s a laff riot.
It says so right on the colorfully painted wall inside the Found Theatre in Long Beach, and they wouldn’t lie.
Mrs. Smart’s Spectacular Circus is the name of the show, and if the laughs weren’t big, they were there, though the show, which features many of the usual characters and a script written and directed by Virginia DeMoss, is mostly for children (and their parents.) The opening night audience last Friday was mostly sophisticated adults, but the two children in the audience that night were indeed captivated, and captured at the end when there brought onto the stage with the rest of the circus characters for the final show and bows.
In one brief but lively act the show tells the story of Priscilla Pagliaccio, a very pampered student whose parents have her enrolled in everything from modern dance to, well, you get the idea. When she hears the word “carnie” and looks it up she decides she wants to be one of the circus crowd, and runs away to Mrs. Smart’s Circus, where she has a few mild adventures and finally discovers that her parents, Alberta Pagliaccio (Dorothy Spirus) and Chuck Pagliaccio (John Sturgeon) are actually circus clowns themselves who wanted her to have a different life, but embrace her running off with the big show.
The plot is positive, the performances are entertaining, especially when you get to help the clowns bat balls around in the small theater. This isn’t a heavy-handed play, but a light entertainment that will charm the younger audience and adults as well.
Tickets are $10, children under 12 $5. Performances are Friday, May 11 at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 12 at 8 p.m., Sunday, May 13 at 2:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2:30 p.m. through May 27.
Details: (562) 433-3363, www.foundtheatre.org
Venue: The Found Theatre
Location: 599 Long Beach Blvd. (at 6th street)