Stage: New Vaudevillians
At Serious Fun! Festival
LINCOLN CENTER’S Serious Fun! Festival came to a rousing close on Sunday Night at Alice Tully Hall with a dream of a program by Geoff Hoyle, Michael Moschen and Frank Olivier., Like flowers from a magician’s bouquet, colorful and surprising acts flowed from the three new- vaudevillians. The program’s only problem was that it should have run the rest of the summer.
In part it was the complimentary but very different skills and presences that made for the evening’s ebullient artistry. Mr. Olivier’ accomplished the most astonishing juggling and unicycling feats in the character of a sharp-witted ingenuous buffoon…
A stream of silly juggling bits flowed from the irrepressible Mr. Olivier. White juggling pins, as many as seven orange balls, pickaxes, machetes and fire flew through his hands, around his body an out into the air as, dressed in a tuxedo, he flapped about the stage like a large, mad stork. There was a bit where trout swam upstream and a dead trout floated downstream. Mr. Olivier’s under-the-leg and karate chop routines were impressive. Donning a tutu, he became a gawky Pavlova of the unicycle.
Some of the repartee would have delighted a suggestible 15-year-old boy. “Oh, gross,” he exclaimed as a woman in the front row handed him back a ping-pong ball that had popped from his mouth. Most of it was wickedly funny. “The crowd turns ugly,” Mr. Olivier muttered when the audience groaned. “For some of you,” he added after a fraction of a pause, “it’s a subtle change.”
– Jennifer Dunning