Aluma may be saying that human pain is at once particular and universal; what’s certain is his cast is gifted, including musical director Ellen Warkentine as the one woman orchestra in the wings.
Amy Nicholson – LA Weekly (Fringe Review)
The physicality of the actors was one of the most exciting things to watch and was definitely one of the essential storytelling tools.
Freddy Puza – LA Theatre Review (Fringe Review)
The playful, troublemaking “4 Clowns” offer a night out you won’t soon forget. The “4 Clowns” are thrillingly unique, and you could possibly leave asking, “Did that really just happen?”
Stephanie Forshee – Campus Circle (Fringe Review)
If you are a fan of the art of clowning, here is a chance to see this unique art. If you are inexperienced in this segment of the arts, here is your chance to be enlightened.
Trish Ostroski – Tolucan Times (Fringe Review)
Congratulations to Aluma and company for their award-winning production of 4 Clowns.
Marlon Deleon – LA Examiner (Long Beach Review)
It’s not clear why all we see is their suffering, but that does not make Four Clowns a morbid show, not really. This is due to the comic exuberance of Alexis Jones, Kevin Klein, Amir Levi, and Raymond Lee (aided to perfection by pianist Mario Granville, who is more than mere accompanist). All four deliver inspired, athletic performances that get them sweating early in the show and rarely give them any chance to rest.
Gregory Moore – Greater Long Beach (Long Beach Playhouse Review)
You walk away with an appreciation of the cathartic effect that the production has on both the characters and on yourself.
James Scarborough – What the Butler Saw (Long Beach Playhouse Review)
More incredible comedic timing & acrobatic movement than stereotypical white face & polka-dotted pants clowning, this piece is a must-see for lovers of spontaneity, devised-movement theatre, and laughing til you cry.
Kat Primeau – LA Theatre Review (Fringe Review)
A mixture of classic clowning techniques with singing and improvisation – this is definitely a must see. You’ll be sure to cry…from laughter.
Ashley Steed – LA Theatre Review (Fringe Review)
Though I’m not sure I arrived at any groundbreaking revelations, I definitely appreciate the message that pain must have laughter, and it’s just plain smart and funny.
Nancy Woo – Long Beach Examiner (Long Beach Review)
If you fail to find the antics of these clowns touching, humorous or entertaining, you’re probably not human.
Vincent Chavez – The Union Weekly (page 12 of pdf) [Long Beach Review]
You owe it to yourself to see this wicked take on the world.
John Farrell – Random Lengths News (opens in pdf) [Long Beach Review]
The program’s tagline simply states: “Laughter is the Best Medicine.” It is obvious that they want viewers to find humor in even the toughest moments of life, but overworking for laughs rather than allowing the moments to occur naturally flaws the production. The dead air pause after each death is painful rather than meaningful, as we feel little to no emotional connection to the characters’ stories. This show needs a few prescriptions for maximum health.
Becky Kinder – Daily 49er (Long Beach Review)
This latest incarnation, with some noticeable tinkering, is every bit as entertaining.
Lovell Estelle III – LA Weekly (Sacred Fools)
Aluma truly has a winner in his hands with “Four Clowns.” The actors’ intense actions help them portray a wide breadth of emotions. And while the mostly harmless show might not appeal to all, there certainly is no need for Angelenos to hide under their beds.
Daniel Boden – Daily Bruin (Sacred Fools)
“Four Clowns” is not for those who like polite, family-friendly entertainment, but for those who like to be alternately outraged and amused, there can be no better way to spend Friday night.
Barnaby Hughes – Socal.com
If you’re looking for an offbeat, wickedly funny and extremely adult oriented brand of comedy then this is definitely up your alley. It’ll have you laughing at the most inappropriate situations and squirming in your seat. The issues dealt with here are the kind that most people have trouble smiling about and yet, you probably will. Sick huh? But this is one sick puppy of a show.
M.R. Hunter – EyeSpyLA (Sacred Fools)
The four clowns who give Four Clowns its title are, separately and together, the most hilariously funny quartet you are likely to spend time with in one theater. And, boy, are they eager to share their sense of fun with you, the audience. This kind of joyous give-and-take spreads pandemonium and pleasure and it’s so contagious you might not even notice that, behind the beautifully painted masks which hide (but not completely) their handsome faces, they have a deeply serious agenda.
Harvey Perr – Stage and Cinema
Be prepared to be confounded, to be embarrassed, to recognize your own life and the life around you, to be presented with every possible pain and petty evil the world can heap upon humanity, and to laugh. A lot.
Geoff Hoff – LA Theatre Review (Sacred Fools)
Do not hire these clowns for your child’s birthday party. In fact, do not allow these clowns near ANY children. EVER. These four clowns embody the worst elements of humanity and force the audience to look directly at them, unflinchingly, for an hour and a half. It is disturbing, uncomfortable, intense and hilariously funny.
Susan Burns – Melpomene Blogs Back (Sacred Fools)
These are some of the best clowns I have seen around, including clowns with the Cirque du Soleil.
Robert Machray – Stagehappenings
I didn’t learn anything new about life (e.g., big brothers can be unrelenting bullies), but I was reminded that some performers can make simple concepts fascinating through practiced physical and vocal prowess and a truckload of commitment. Clowns Alexis Jones, Kevin Klein, Raymond Lee and Amir Levi and pianist Mario Granville beguiled me with humor tender and blue, scripted and improvised, for at least 60 of Four Clown’s 90 minutes.
Josefa Beyer – Nuvo (National Tour Review)
These clowns are tight. Really, really talented. The material is bawdy, physical and over the top. (Except that of the pianist. He’s simply awesome. And self-taught. And handsome.) It pushes the limits (these are NOT clowns for children), but stops short of bludgeoning the audience with vulgarity. Bob deemed it in the top five Fringe shows ever. I want to see it again, because they really are amazing to watch, and I’m interested in how much of the show is improvised.
Kate Hoff – Twin Cities Daily Planet (National Tour Review)
Warning: this show is not for kids. And not for people creeped out by clowns. Sad Clown, Mischievous Clown, Angry Clown and Nervous Clown race through non-stop skits that might be described as the Life Sucks Circus depicting dysfunctional families, sex abuse, illness and suicide. But it’s funnier than it sounds. A lot funnier. These foul-mouthed, in-your-face bozos are skilled physical comics. Think Buster Keaton in a simulated oral sex scene. You’ll squirm in your seat and say “I can’t believe they’re doing that” while you’re laughing.
Richard Chin – Pioneer Press (National Tour Review)
Four Clowns especially came out of nowhere and knocked me out. I had a huge grin on my face (partially aghast) watching them go through their routine. Make the time to get over to Gremlin and see them–I’m going to find a place for them in my schedule.
Joshua Humphrey – Twin Cities Theater Connection (National Tour Review)
There’s a similar alchemy underway in director Jeremy Aluma’s fantastic 4 Clowns. Rowdy, irreverent, totally inappropriate, slightly dangerous, and very funny, the titular madcaps — wonderfully individual performances unleashed with fine ensemble precision by Alexis Jones, Turner Munch, Raymond Lee, and Amir Levi — take their unsuspecting audience through the phases of life, dwelling on all its hideous temporal suffering with a macabre glee, accompanied by the fancy piano work of Mario Granville.
Robert Avila – San Francisco Bay Guardian (National Tour Review)
From start to finish, Four Clowns uses high levels of energy, physical dexterity, and laser-like wit to entertain its audience.
George Heymont – My Cultural Landscape (National Tour Review)
Caroline Toll: Yeah, exactly, but they do it so well, there’s so much physical comedy… Nick Vetter: Very kinetic, very active, very funny, fast, quick-witted and unusual humor, it’s unexpected and really delightful and quirky. Caroline Toll: It’s very fringey.
Caroline Toll & Nick Vetter – Minnesota Public Radio (National Tour Review)
Normally taboo subjects that are presented in “Four Clowns” get tackled in a way that even the tough would appreciate. Gratuitous sexual situations, suicide/depression, objectionable language, and even self-gratification are addressed in such a laugh riot, that it works. Even things that the arts community normally steers clear of, such as complete audience interaction, no blackouts, and live music, would be given two thumbs up by the toughest of the tough.
Kenne Guillory – Santa Monica Mirror (Sacred Fools)
Sacred Fools Theater Spotlight Series
660 N. Heliotrope Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90004
REVIVAL PLAYING SEPT 30-0CT 28. 2011 @ 11pm, Fridays
Tickets: $15; (310) 281-8337
Filed Under: LemonMeter
About the Author: We don’t “review” shows here at the Lemon, rather we "review" reviews by gathering them from a variety of local review sites around the internet, judging them to be positive or negative, then forming an aggregate score that we call a LEMONMETER RATING, showing how well that show has been reviewed in total. For more detail on how the LemonMeter works visit here.