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Sunday, July 24, 2022

F3Stage Reviews: Acrobuffos soar into the sky & audience's hearts in Air Play

Film Flam Flummox

Air Play has been touring across the world consistently since its premiere in 2015, and it's easy to see why -- "see" being the operative word there, for describing this familiar yet utterly unique theatrical experience by the veteran circus performer duo known as Acrobuffos (Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsone) in the written word does not quite do it any justice.

The aforementioned "familiar" in Air Play lies in the specialty of Bloom and Gelsone: silent physical comedy and clowning. As the two play siblings who bicker, play, and playfully bicker while engaging with balloons and other objects tossed and/or blown into the air--and even into the audience's seats--the antics and style are, at face value, not unlike anything one would find in any circus show. Chances are, though, one wouldn't find the gags and set pieces executed with the natural ease and charismatic personalities that the Acrobuffos display.

The "play" is fun as it is, but it's the "air" half of the title that makes this such a unique theatrical experience. As mentioned, balloons are frequently used throughout the hour-long performance, but not only as thrown and tossed by the performing pair. Bloom and Gelsone developed this piece with artist Daniel Wurtzel, credited in the official program notes as "kinetic sculptor"--and that title is probably the closest one can come to describing in words the stunning, in-motion stage pictures that are created. That these images are created with combinations of objects that, when listed, could not sound more mundane -- fans, umbrellas, glitter, fabrics, balloons of varying sizes -- make the achievement all the more impressive and quite literally awe-inspiring. When these artworks blend in and meld into the Acrobuffos' broader hijinks, they and director West Hyler create a live theatrical experience that is truly unlike any other, in the best way possible.

Air Play is now playing at The BroadStage in Santa Monica through Sunday, July 31; information on future dates of and other Acrobuffos productions, visit their official website.

Seth Bloom and Christina Galsone
in Air Play
(photo by Florence Montmare)

(Special thanks to The BroadStage and Davidson & Choy Publicity)

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