by Adam Cohen
Life in the big city can be difficult. Residents face challenges with housing, transportation, finding jobs and romance. In the hands of the Atlas Circus Company’s Lucky at Dixon Place – life in a big city is given a fun, refreshing, energetic, endearing, beautiful sheen.
The evening calls to mind Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and Bill Irwin—with acrobatic slapstick in minute set ups that tell an overall story of a man’s journey through the city—albeit with title cards, minimal props, compelling, telling, fun animation (Koren Harpaz) and sprightly well timed music (David Evans).
The highlights of the magical show include a bit in a park where a thief attempts to steal Lucky’s briefcase. The briefcase is magical containing everything Lucky needs for the evening—including penguin slippers, a lamp, extra-large blanket. This ballet between thief and Lucky is gorgeous with creative, agile, humorous movement.
Lucky also finds a job in an office where he encounters a young woman (Avery Deutsch). Here they communicate mostly through stamping on paper. This is a cute bit – echoing the drone of everyday cubical life and the need for fun and interpersonal relationships.
There’s an extended bit in a restaurant where Lucky scores a waiter job. An audience member is pulled in to be a performer’s date. The slapstick ramps up quickly with mixed up meals, juggling, and inevitably pies in the face. And then Lucky ends up on a girder rising above the city for some acrobatics.
This company of four includes the gifted physically and facially pliable Henry Evans, Avery Deutsch, Russel Norris and Leo Abel. Directed by Henry Evans and Tommy McCarthy with choreography by Tyler Holoboski, there’s a bright future for Lucky and Atlas Circus Company. This wide ranging, engaging funny evening will thrill audiences of all ages with the flips, acrobatics, and all types of magic. There’s something for everyone with great music, simple animation, gorgeous lighting (Alex Womer) and a fun mostly silent cast slapsticking through life.
Lucky. Through August 16 at Dixon Place (161A Chrystie Street, between Rivington and Delancey on the Lower East Side). www.dixonplace.org