The clowns are coming to the Craterian. But these are not your usual silly clowns you might have seen as a kid. These clowns are from Russia and they perform with the unique European theatrical style of physical comedy and circus acts they developed while working with the Moscow Circus and Cirque du Soleil. They call themselves Aga-Boom and they will be presenting shows at 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday, March 17, at the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater, 23 S. Central Ave., Medford.
Iryna Ivanytska is the lead clown, Boom, wearing a wild pale wig and oversized red slippers. Joining Ivanytska are her husband Dimitri Bogatirev (Aga), who also directs the show; the whiteface harlequin Philip Briggs (Dash); the graceful contortionist Elena Nekrassova (The Mask); and Ivanytska's and Bogatirev's 12-year-old son, Anton Bogatirev (Mini-Boom). Bogatirev's brother, Vasily, provides the music.
The clowns don't speak much. They don't have to. Their performance speaks the universal language of clowning that cuts through the barriers of language and culture with the art of slapstick, physical comedy and mime.
Aga-Boom's high-energy performance involves the audience with outrageous zaniness and unrestrained laughter. The good-natured audience participation culminates in the grand finale of the 75-minute show when the theater is filled with flying wads and flakes of paper, streamers of plastic and huge inflated balloons batted from one laughing and screaming audience member to another — child and adult alike.
Aga-Boom was nominated for the Ovation Award in the category of best touring show, along with "The Producers," "42nd Street," Lily Tomlin and Elaine Stritch. Aga-Boom had successful engagements on Broadway, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Boston and Los Angeles. It was critically acclaimed from coast to coast. The show has thrilled and delighted audiences around the world, performing for more than 300,000 people in Japan, Mexico, Korea, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.
Don Shirley of the L.A. Times described the show as "Literally riotous — as in funny that the audience did more than just laugh — than any theatrical experience within memory." The New York Times called Aga-Boom "Masterly clowning with its own originality ... Pure family fun."
Tickets range from $32-$$38 for adults and $23-$29 for children.