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.