A Case for Clowns
In classic Beck fashion, Gary Beck addresses somber issues in an amusing way in The Clown Show. In this play 3 characters are introduced: Mr. Barker, the Theater Manager, and clowns Koko and Pipi.
These characters are believable and charming. Even the grouchy theater manager, Mr. Barker, grows on us in an endearing way as he continues to give the clowns more time to get ready.
Before the clowns get ready they manage to aggravate Mr. Barker in a whimsical, playful way. The poor manager does not know what to think of these irreverent clowns, as they tease and cajole him to a frenzy. They are nothing like anyone he has ever seen before. Dan Snow is sincere and makes a great foil for the clowns as they remind him, to his chagrin, there has been a long history of female clowns.
Nancy Beck , as Pipi, and Angela Madden as Koko, bring integrity and life to these two clowns as they pose the question, “Where is the circus?”. They find themselves wondering “Why must we perform once again for children who are not used to live audiences and prefer video games?” This trio shows true expression and rapor with one another as they deliver their message which provides a commentary on today’s society. They talk about being in a “sovereign state surrounded by air” and how “We shouldn’t fear our neighbors but fear a President who does bad things.” They also touch on the subject of bullying as Koko queries, “Why must we always work for bullies who do not understand us?” But, with courage, Koko and Pipi move forward as they “stem the tide of despair” to share their laughter with people who need them. I would love to see a sequel of the adventures of these characters!
Debbie Broadhead Brandt
Pasadena Little Theatre