Jean Saucier and Patrick Côté in “Circo Comedia” at Westport Country Playhouse on Sunday, December 15. (contributed photo)
Westport Country Playhouse will continue its 2013-14 Family Festivities Series with “Circo Comedia,” featuring unpredictable thrills, side-splitting comedy, and daredevil stunts, on Sunday, December 15, at 1 and 4 p.m., recommended for age four and up. Running time is approximately one hour. Family Festivities shows are presented on selected Sundays from November through March. Tickets are $20.
Following in the tradition of the Quebec Circus, Jean Saucier, master equilibrist, juggler, trick cyclist, acrobat, and magician performs his feats from dizzying heights while Patrick Côté, burlesque clown, expert roller skater, and drummer, innocently tries his best to be the (imperfect) assistant.
A unicycle launched the career of Jean Saucier. At age 11, Saucier cut a curious figure in his native Montreal when he delivered newspapers atop his one-wheeler. Mostly self-taught until the age of 18, he attended the École National du Cirque de Montréal. Cirque du Soleil noticed his talent and hired him. In 1987, Saucier was awarded the Bronze Medal at the Festival du Cirque de Demain in Paris for his bicycle routine together with his performing ensemble. Since then, much has changed as he discovered that he was destined to be a "Straight Man" - the serious side of comedy.
In 2004, Saucier began performing with acrobat/stuntman/drummer/roller skater Patrick Côté. In 2005, the duo won the First Prize (Public Choice) at the Mondial des Amuseurs of Trois-Rivières Festival in Québec. Côté trained as a gymnast and acrobat at Montreal's National Circus School. He discovered a passion for burlesque stunts and created his well-known alter-ego/comic characters "PatPatinFou" and "Le Baron Fou.” He continued to create several new characters for projects such as the Cirque du Soleil, among others. In 2005, he joined the troupe Les Parfaits Inconnus.
Upcoming Family Festivities presentations include “Dino-Light,” on Sunday, January 19, “Sleeping Beauty Dreams,” on Sunday, February 9, “Diary of a Worm, a Spider, and a Fly,” on Sunday, March 9, and “Seussical,” on Sunday, March 23.
In conjunction with the Family Festivities Series, the Playhouse will host a book collection of gently used and new children’s books for Read to Grow, Inc.
Family Festivities Partners are Meredith and David Bukzin, Galia Gichon and Adam Clemens, and Darlene Krenz. Family Festivities Corporate Sponsor is Pitney Bowes.
Everyone in the audience requires a ticket. For more information or tickets, call the box office at (203) 227-4177, or toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Tickets are available online 24/7 at www.westportplayhouse.org. Stay connected to the Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), view Playhouse videos on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse) or get an insider’s peek on The Playhouse Blog (www.theplayhouseblog.org).
About Westport Country Playhouse
Westport Country Playhouse is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit, professional theater under the artistic direction of Mark Lamos and management leadership of Michael Ross. The Playhouse creates five live theater experiences, produced at the highest level, from April through October. Its vital mix of works---dramatic, comedic, occasionally exploratory and unusual---expands the audience’s sense of what theater can be. The depth and scope of its productions display the foremost theatrical literature from the past---recent as well as distant---in addition to musicals and premieres of new plays. During the summer, the Playhouse is home to the Woodward Internship Program, renowned for the training of aspiring theater professionals. Winter at the Playhouse, from November through March, offers events outside of the main season---Family Festivities presentations and Script in Hand play readings. In addition, businesses and organizations are encouraged to rent the handsome facility for their meetings, receptions and fundraisers.
As an historic venue, Westport Country Playhouse has had many different lives leading up to the present. Originally built in 1835 as a tannery manufacturing hatters’ leathers, it became a steam-powered cider mill in 1880, later to be abandoned in the 1920s. Splendidly transformed into a theater in 1931, it initially served as a try-out house for Broadway transfers, evolving into an established stop on the New England straw hat circuit of summer stock theaters through the end of the 20th century. Following a multi-million dollar renovation completed in 2005, the Playhouse became a state-of-the-art producing theater, preserving its original charm and character.
Today, the not-for-profit Westport Country Playhouse serves as a cultural resource for patrons, artists and students and is a treasure for the State of Connecticut. There are no boundaries to the creative thinking for future seasons or the kinds of audiences and excitement for theater that Westport Country Playhouse can build.
Westport Country Playhouse’s upcoming 2014 season: Noël Coward’s “A Song at Twilight,” an exquisite battle of wits, exploring the nature of passion, the cruelty of love, and the price of hidden secrets, directed by Mark Lamos, April 29 – May 17, a co-production with Hartford Stage; the season’s second production will be either a comedy or a world premiere musical event, to be announced at a later date, directed by Mark Lamos, playing June 3 - 21; “Nora,” Ingmar Bergman’s adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House,” a story of love, blackmail, and the little lies people tell, translated into the English language by Frederick J. Marker and Lisa-Lone Marker, directed by David Kennedy, Playhouse associate artistic director, July 15 – August 2; “Things We Do for Love,” Alan Ayckbourn’s wickedly funny play that questions just how sane anyone really is when it comes to love, August 19 – September 6; and “Intimate Apparel” by Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, an intricate tapestry of the joys, sorrows, tragedy, and triumph of a gifted but lonely African-American seamstress in early 20th century Manhattan who's negotiating the choice between a love that is accepted and one that is true, October 7 – November 1.
For more information or tickets, call the box office at (203) 227-4177, or toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Tickets are available online 24/7 at www.westportplayhouse.org. Stay connected to the Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), view Playhouse videos on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse) or get an insider’s peek on The Playhouse Blog (www.theplayhouseblog.org).