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Circus Finelli Escapades
Shotwell Studios
San Francisco, CA
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Circus Finelli Escapades
Escapades is a spectacle that accelerates to comic disaster. It is a fast-paced, intimate, interactive experience where the performers improvise with the audience.  It is bright fun, filled with acrobatics, juggling, contortion and live music.  From a ferocious lioness to a samba-dancing doctor to a soul-dancing cow routine, these clowns transform small problems into disasters of epic proportions!

The Circus features four crazy, unruly, and unpredictable women clowns.  Molly, Verka, Luz and Z are bilingual, but even when using words their emphasis is on physical comedy.  Under the command of Madame Vinaigrette (Verka Zaskodna), a European bombshell juggler with some dangerous plans, the circus goes awry with each performer courageously facing disaster. Assisting and assaulting her with music is the havoc-wreaking accordionista and one-woman musical wonder, Luz Gaxiola.  Exploding from all corners is the sprightly Pepito (Z Smith), a woman so strong she had part of her brain removed to make room for more muscle.  And gracing the stage with her dazzling samba throughout the show, Dr. Samba (Molly Shannon) heals all with her groundbreaking expertise in the field of Samba Medicine.

Footloose Artistic Director, Mary Alice Fry, first invited the troupe to be in the Women on the Way Festival in January, 2007.  Fry was excited by the positive audience response to Circus Finelli's  variety of skills.  Since traditionally, girls are not encouraged to be silly or ridiculous, finding four funny, talented, and obsessively driven women dedicated to performing in the ancient art of silliness was a stroke of luck.  After their appearance received critical acclaim, Fry welcomed the Finelli's to develop their show as part of Artists in Motion, the performing arts residency program t Footloose's home base, Shotwell Studios.  The upcoming performances are the culmination of the new work created during the fall residency.  

Circus Finelli trained at the San Francisco Clown Conservatory, and takes inspiration from the European Clown tradition and the antics of American Vaudeville. The troupe has toured the East Coast and the Czech Republic and performs regularly in the Bay Area where they live and teach.  Circus Finelli can perform in English, Spanish, French, Czech, Italian, and Russian, but even when using words, its emphasis remains on physical comedy.  Circus Finelli's approach draws from commedia dell'arte, clown, and melodrama. Please visit their website at for more information and photos.

Comments on Circus Finelli:

"There's a cartoon quality to the sound effects and instruments that texture the string of acts, but it's all dependent on live timing-nothing like you've ever seen on TV or in the movies. There's lots of comical juggling and acrobatics, thrown in with the real thing; humor and excitement are inextricable." Ken Bullock, The Berkeley Daily Planet

"Fresh"  San Francisco Chronicle



Shotwell Studios
3252-A 19th Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
United States

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Arts > Theatre

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: No


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