The Arlekino Theater Troupe clearly worked very hard on their Sunday night fundraiser Carnevale!, a show featuring circus and sideshow-like performances at the Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn. While the event had some great acts and a very attentive crew, there were some hiccups that unfortunately kept the show from reaching its full potential.
The Arlekino Theater Troupe is a non-profit theater, art, music and dance program for children ages 2-7 from families from the Former Soviet Union. The Carnevale! fundraiser raised money for this program with volunteer performers, caterers, and artists. The Galapagos Art Space also donated their venue for the evening.
The Galapagos Art Space is located on Main Street in Brooklyn. I had never been to this neighborhood before, and after getting a little lost I rushed to the venue in order to make the 7 p.m. starting time. All the ads said the show started at 7, but not start until 7:45. After 50 minutes of performance, there was another 40-minute break. Fifty minutes after that, there was still a third 20-minute break before the final stretch of the performance reached the stage. Needless to say all these “breaks” made the audience very restless, and I believe the whole show would have done better, and would have flowed better, with just one of them.
The other major hiccup was difficulty with audio and video. The show began with a video montage of the theater troupe’s program and work with children. Unfortunately the video had difficulty running, and it got the (already behind-schedule) show off to a faulty start. These issues could have been improved and would have made the show much better. That said however, there were some performances throughout the evening that helped it all run more smoothly.
The most notable acts were the Valeria Entertainment belly dancing, the Jazz Kompot band, and cabaret singer Mira Stroika. Representing Valeria Entertainment was a performance of three belly dancers dancing beautifully to Arabic music. The performance was colorful, energetic, and fun. Jazz Kompot is a skilled jazz band with strong vocals and instrumentals. They put you in a great 1940s-lounge mood.
Cabaret singer Mira Stroika was the best performance of the evening. No one captured the audience’s energy and attention like she did with both her enthusiasm and talent. Her loud, powerful voice has such a soul that it filled the whole venue, and everyone was pulled into her songs.
Unfortunately, Stroika was one of the last performers of the evening, and many in the audience had left by the time she came on stage. The rainy evening did not help the situation, but I wonder if Stroika’s performance earlier would have enticed people to stay for the whole show.
According to Arlekino’s co-founder Jane Tuv, the show had great ticket sales, for which I’m sure they are very thankful. The evening had some minor setbacks, but overall it raised money for a good cause and ended up introducing me to some new and talented performers. And for that, I am thankful.
Additional Carnevale! Information:
Co-producers: Jane Tuv, Founder of Arlekino Theater Troupe, and Maksim Brenner, founder of Brenner Media Labs
Caterer: Elena Tedeschi Catering
Videography: Brenner Media Labs
Gallery photos by Marina Vykhodtseva and Karina Schroeder