Flying Karamazov Brothers | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Flying Karamazov Brothers 

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No matter how many flourishes and gadgets the Flying Karamazov Brothers add to their repertoire, no one will ever mistake them for Blue Man Group--a blessing for those who prefer their clowning analog rather than digital. The Brothers' latest offering in their 30-plus years of juggling with jokes is Life: A Guide for the Perplexed, which takes its title and loose inspiration from 12th-century philosopher Moses Maimonides's book of the same name. The show revolves around Paul Magid (aka Dmitri Karamazov), who's undergoing a midlife crisis that somehow involves Bollywood musicals, Jacques's "seven ages of man" speech from As You Like It, and of course the ever popular Karamazov challenge, "The Gamble": audience members are invited to bring items onstage for juggling (featured objects have included skateboards and lubricated kelp). The Juggletron does give the show a Blue Man-esque touch: it's a seven-foot-wide electronic instrument featuring MIDI drum pads. But what really keeps the Brothers flying high are their jokes--usually good-natured groaners--and astounding feats of hand-eye coordination. 11/26-11/28: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM. North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, 847-673-6300. $42-$44.

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