A cleaver, an egg, a fish, a lit torch, a bottle of cheap champagne

And by “lit torch” I don’t mean a flashlight. I mean a stick with one end on fire. These are just some of the items juggled by the four lunatics who are The Flying Karamazov Brothers. Their new show, 4 Play, is currently down in the Village at the Minetta Lane Theater.


The brothers, Dmitri, Alexei, Pavel and Zossima (no, they’re not really brothers), have been around in various iterations since 1972 with Dimitri, second from left, as the founder and one constant member. This is exactly the type of light, pleasant entertainment you want in the heat of summer before the really thick stuff sets in. [A revival of Mamet’s A Life in the Theater with Patrick Stewart can wait until October.]

The show is classic Vaudeville. :90 minutes of comedy, music, dance and loads of juggling. It’s all sounds too quaint and pedestrian but I had a great time and more than a few moments of inspired awe. One segment had audience members bring items up to the stage for them to juggle. The bet is that Dmitri can keep them aloft. He gets a standing ovation if successful and a pie in the face if he fails. This evening, he successfully juggled a pink tutu, a surgical glove filled with water, a lipstick tube and a tin coffee pot. The video on their site shows that someone brought in an entire pizza for him to juggle. C’mon! How can you not be entertained by that?! I’m hoping I can bring The Girls into the city to see it before the end of the run.

20 thoughts on “A cleaver, an egg, a fish, a lit torch, a bottle of cheap champagne

  1. kykn: Another in a long series of apt metaphors from SA.Ponita: They’re AMERICAN! It’s all part of the act. Sometimes, I think I work to hard to entertain myself. It’s refreshing to see something that’s pure fun.ES: I’m not kidding — these guys have superhuman skills. You have to see it to believe it.EG: I often thought I’d look rather dashing in a kilt but never had the opportunity.

  2. I love this kind of entertainment.And I wore a kilt for nigh on 20 years! (Ponita has seen the photies, and I don’t mean the ones Jimmy tried to blackmail me with! Heaven forbid they ever make their way into the public domain!)And you get to see Jean-Luc Picard in person? Bastard! :¬)

  3. PG: This show is so joyful and has such broad appeal, I can’t imagine anyone saying, “Well, that was boring.”Map: Can’t you post the photos to your site? Cut off your head if you don’t want to be identified. I saw Capt. Picard in HAMLET on Broadway and in ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA on the West End. Remember, he’s also Professor Xavier. That guy has got some range!

  4. “Stephen”: Thanks for stopping by! My first celebrity comment. Nice work. I was second row center and more than a little nervous about the cleaver. Daisy: I do a bit of juggling myself but never got past three small balls. Never mind pins and knives. You’re right. You don’t know how hard it is until you try. (That goes with everything, actually.)MIT: Go ahead and toss all three into the air. You can’t get hurt with those. Unless the candle is lit.

  5. Map: Oh, shit! That’s right! YOU were my first celeb. I stand corrected. Again.TB: That’s the beauty of this show. There are things that requires major skills that’ll impress the adults, while holding the kid’s attention.

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