Professional pranksters Smythe and Saucier bring the acrobatics, magic and eccentricity that is their “Circo Comedia” to the Smith Opera House in Geneva at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 9. This performance is part of the historic theater's Family and Friends Performing Arts and Cultural Series.
Hailing from Montreal, Lawrence Smythe and Jean Saucier based their “Circo Comedia” in the tradition of the Quebec Circus. Saucier, a master equilibrist, and Smythe, a catastrophic clown eccentric, offer acrobatic tricks, daring feats and their own brand of offbeat humor in this all-ages show that has been spreading merriment at festivals and cabarets around the world.
Smythe credits his lively personality to a combination of things. He believes his irreverent sense of humor comes from his Irish heritage, while his love of performing stems from watching Red Skelton on television. Add to the mix that he grew up in what he describes as “an intense and comedic family where chaos reigned.”
Smythe's talents are many and his professional training includes mime, dance, clowning, mask, improvisation, voice and music.
Like his partner, Mr. Saucier has grown used to having an audience. At age 11, he cut a curious figure in his native Montreal when he delivered newspapers atop his unicycle. Mostly self-taught until the age of 18, he later attended the Ecole National du Cirque de Montréal. He worked with “Cirque du Soleil,” realizing over the years that his destiny was that of straight man to Mr. Smythe's madcap hi jinks. Mr. Saucier is professionally trained as a stuntman, equilibrist, juggler, unicyclist, acrobat, trick cyclist, clown and actor.
Smythe and Saucier have been performing “Circo Comedia” for two years. In that time they've been part of major children's festivals in Calgary, Saskatoon, Vancouver and Winnipeg, as well as several comedy festivals, including the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal. They've taken the show to Las Vegas, Japan, France and Hungary.
Since their first U.S. performances in 1999, the duo has been featured at the Philadelphia Festival Theater for Children, the Pittsburgh International Children's Festival and the Alaska Junior Theater.
Tickets to Smythe and Saucier “Circo Comedia” are $7 for adults, $4 for students and senior citizens. For tickets, call The Smith box office at 315-781-LIVE or toll free at 1-866-355-LIVE. They are also available at Area Records and Music and the Hobart and William Smith Colleges bookstore in Geneva and Lyons National Bank in Lyons. For more information, visit the Web site, www.thesmith.org.