Saturday, June 28, 2008

Send in the Clowns

"Klub" (pronounced clue-b) at the Ivy Substation in Culver City is one of the most inventive, thrilling shows I've seen a long time.

The audience enters the theater to face a scowling clown on stage staring back while smoking a cigarette. And the hilarity ensues.

Written by Mitch Watson (who plays the clown), a group of actors find themselves trapped in the same show, forced to repeat it over and over for a maniacal director who promises that one of them will be allowed to leave after their latest performance.

The very talented cast play several different theater types like a bimbo, the grown-up child actor looking for his next break, a mime, a washed-up Vaudeville team and, of course, Annie.

Yes, it's an offbeat show but very funny and rewarding.

The theater has an interesting story to tell too. Built in 1907 by the Pacific Electric Railroad, the Ivy Substation served as a power distribution facility for the railroad line that ran from downtown to the ocean. Ultimately the sight was abandoned by the railroad and eventually turned into a legitimate theater facility.
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