Sonic the Hedgehog gives dance lessons between readings done by a trio of mad men while recorded music and a lazer harp soundtrack the happenings. The audience all have numbers pinned to their backs in preparation for the dance contest after the show, which had a prize of a homemade strawberry pie for the winner.
It has all the makings of a Happy Days episode that never aired, but someone got fired for writing.
The Fiction Circus is back in town, and what a show it is.
This quartet is a group of barnstorming warriors on the front lines of the battle to not only preserve the world of fiction, but also to fully explore what's possible in the digital age while still maintaining an analog connection to the audience. If you do find yourself under the big top at one of their shows, rest assured that you'll soon become part of the story.
Otto's Shrunken Head was the fitting venue on this Saturday night on the Lower East Side of Manhattan -- because, you know, dance contests and story telling should be done inside a back room of a bar that makes you feel like you're inside of a grass hut. Now see, just because you're hearing about this show, don't go rushing out to get your poodle skirts or hair grease -- the theme changes with each event.
Word is the next one is going to be a seance.
Of course, these kids are connected to you though their thousands of followers on Facebook, but that's just the lifeline. If you want to jump in the boat and row to a magical kingdom of fiction, you must go TO the circus.
Ticker Tape in reality reads:
You're looking in the wrong places if you're one of the sad folks crying that fiction is dead. It's alive people, only you're going to have to track it down and join up -- this troupe is on the move and creating movements.
Forget what you've heard from traditional publishing companies and pundits -- those are animals about to be extinct -- giving their last roar before sinking away from significance.
This group is made up of Ring Leader Miracle Jones, the man with a cape and dweller inside of bathroom walls, Dr. Future, court jester, Xerxes Verdammt, and Goodman Carter, the maker of music and creator of soundtracks for the Circus.
On this night, each of them read stories from one phone surrounded by tiki torches and heads that would have been nodding had they been left to live.
Don't think these are just a bunch of freaks haunting New York. They run a very ligit Literary Magazine called, well, The Fiction Circus -- where they give reviews and charge head on into the war against words that is being waged across the literary landscape.
They're young, hungry and have a passion for the possibilities of fiction -- not only in the form it takes on paper (though there was no paper at the show except for the dance contest numbers), but also with their harsh, experimental subject matter as well. Tales on this night ranged from diets of only communion bread, occupying sex escapes inside of bathroom walls, and making skinny lattes for Quentin Terantino that had an infusement of a pest known very well by New Yorkers.
Their show is not schtick and the pieces on their site come from many of the new voices you'll wish you discovered before you see them at a local bookstore (or wherever books get sold in the not too distant future).
Follow the circus down the surreal road of their reality.
Don't worry, it's all fiction.
Follow Christopher Herz on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Herzwords