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Circus in a Trunk

This sweetly adorable one-hour show by the Piccolini Trio will entertain both children and their parents.

A scene from Circus in a Trunk
(Courtesy of The Piccolini Trio)
At The Canal Park Playhouse, a charming little theater housed in an 1826 landmarked builiding that teeters on the western edge of Manhattan, the Piccolini Trio is performing a sweetly adorable, delightfully low-tech show called Circus in a Trunk.

If the show's tone is sometimes a little funky, it's because this one-hour production tries to walk the line between being a straightforward, simple circus for children and a light satire about the circus form itself. But for the most part, the comedy is consistently well executed, and that's what counts.

The Piccolini Trio consists of three young clowns (Joshua Schack, John Stork, and Joy Powers), who arrive on stage schlepping a trunk intended for a circus that never shows up. With no one else in sight to put on the show, the three clowns volunteer themselves for the job, plucking props from the trunk -- from music boxes to juggling pins -- as they valiantly attempt to entertain the audience.

The gags are tried and true, some of which might be as old as the building in which they taking place. No matter; a good gag is a good gag and it always works -- such as when the adorable Joy Powers constantly bows (and does nothing else) to simply elicit applause.

Indeed, as the giggling from the children in the audience and the broad smiles on the faces of their parents attest, the charm and style of the Piccolini Trio make it worth the trek to find this unusual Circus.

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