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Best Place to See a Seven-Man Pyramid Cross the High Wire 

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Brian S. Bembridge

Hephaestus: A Greek Mythology Circus Tale

In its original 2005 Lookingglass Theatre production, Tony Hernandez and Heidi Stillman’s “Greek mythology circus tale” offered plenty of acrobatics. But this year the high ceiling at the Goodman’s Owen Theatre allowed Hernandez to take this already jaw-dropping show to new heights with an audacious indoor version of the three-tier, seven-person high-wire pyramid made tragically famous by the Flying Wallendas. Two Wallenda family members were killed and a third was paralyzed from the waist down when the pyramid collapsed during a 1962 performance of the act, devised in 1942. But, Hernandez (who’s married to a Wallenda) is quoted as saying in the program note, “You would never for a moment consider that a pilot would get into his plane and think, ‘Boy, I hope I make it to London without crashing.’ It’s the same for us on the high wire.”

Hephaestus’s international cast included three members of the Wallenda clan—one of whom, Nik, plans to become the first person in the world to walk across the Grand Canyon on a tightrope. According to his bio, he’s “already secured the permits.”

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)