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Vaudeville re-booted

The Hinterlands’ “The Circuit”

The Hinterlands’ “The Circuit”

The Hinterlands put on  new play in a new space

On Sept. 26, Detroit-based physical theatre company, The Hinterlands, will begin performing their new play, “The Circuit,” described as “an ecstatic variety show for the outcasts of the Internet age.” A “high-octane-seize-no-prisoner” take on vaudeville, every aspect of the show — the book, the music, and the performance space itself — has been carefully crafted by the company for maximum effect.

Since 2009, co-directors Richard Newman and Liza Bielby have toured their plays on three continents; earning numerous accolades and funding from several major foundations.

Asked to describe the play, Bielby and Newman respond, “Think the Marx Brothers meets David Lynch meets the New Dance Show meets Bikini Kill meets something you’ve never heard of.” They promise “door prizes and Faygo.”  Bielby and Newman enfuse “The Circuit” with a new cast of collaborators including designer Zeb Smith, choreographers Haleem ‘Stringz’ Rasul and Torri Ashford, sound designer Jon Brumit and performer Barney Baggett.

Performances of “The Circuit” commence at Play House, “a formerly vacant house that has been converted into a neighborhood rehearsal and performance space,” Newman told the Michigan Citizen. “It is definitely not a normal theatre.”

Designed by The Hinterlands in collaboration with architect Gina Reichert, Play House was two stories high before the collaborators removed the second story “in order to create this vast, Cathedral like quality within the house.”

“I hope there is a palpable sense of surprise and delight that people can experience once they step inside … a kind of reward that you get for looking a little deeper than what is on the surface. I think we take this approach in our performances as well — by looking at forms that appear to be one thing on the surface —  Vaudeville, the Western —  and then are something else entirely when you really enter into them,” said Newman.

“The Circuit” previews at Play House (12657 Moran St., Detroit), Sept. 26-27 at 8 p.m. and premieres at Trinosophes (1464 Gratiot Ave., Detroit), Oct. 3-4 at 8 p.m. Tickets  are $15. Reservations can be made by calling 313.454.1756 or emailing — Staff report



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