Revisiting “Banana Shpeel”


I was offered four free tickets to Banana Shpeel by Cirque representatives, and just got back.

Well, they’re working on it. But, girl? How do you say “hot mess” in French?

I saw the final dress rehearsal a little under a month ago.The show was clearly a work in progress then, and that work is still very much needed to get this show where we all want it to be.

Currently, it’s a perplexing hodge podge of bizarrely unfunny — nearly mean-spirited — clown antics mixed with stand-alone world-class stunt performers. The show really, and I mean really, takes an energy dive each time the clowns storm the stage. What should be a crazy, comedic celebration of slapstick, song and stunts is instead an exercise in poor taste and half-baked ideas. As my friend Dan noted: Less Shpeel, more Cirque, please.

Specifically, let’s see more of Dima Shine and his fancy pole dancing:

But they’re trying. They’ve moved the order of some sketches around (what was once the finale now closes the first act), and added a new Cirque act — two dancers who toss each other around (they fell tonight at one point — a heart-stopping moment, but they recovered quickly).

However, it’s like rearranging the chairs on the Titanic. There’s no saving this sinking ship. At least not the way it’s currently designed. Something drastic needs to be done. Back to the drawing board, I say. As it is, this shpeel shtinks.

6 thoughts on “Revisiting “Banana Shpeel”

  1. Ditto, Robert. This weak show was only entertaining when the four Cirque-esque acts appeared on the stage, and the clowning was endless and painful to watch.

    I’m glad tickets were free. :)

  2. Does this mean that they’ve scrapped the “Hey, let’s smash plates on people’s heads” act one ending? Or is it still in the show, just somewhere else?

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