Imagine a world inspired by steampunk culture, set against a Wild West, Victorian-era or some other long lost time backdrop. It usually incorporates steam-powered technology or, in the case of The Vets upcoming show, Pedal Punk, by pedal powered technology.
Pedal Punk is the latest circus production by the Las Vegas-based Cirque Mechanics, who bring “storytelling and innovative mechanics” to the stage. The retrofuturistic show, presented by Providences’ own FirstWorks – a nonprofit known for building cultural, educational and economic vitality throughout the state – will kick off their 2016-1017 Artistic Icons Series with Pedal Punk this month.
Billed as “engrossingly entertaining,” Pedal Punk is a rowdy and mischievous steampunk-inspired escape from the all-encompassing world of technology. The show, galvanized by the Industrial era’s steam-powered machinery, delivers to the audience – literally – the mechanics of art and theatre via extravagant contraptions. Cirque’s Artistic Director, Chris Lashua, a German wheel artist, incorporates his former professions as a BMX freestyle rider and Cirque-du-Soleil performer to present a mesmerizing and magical contemporary circus.
The cast is an uncommon and colorful collection of acrobats and cyclists who interact with “inventive pedal-dependent devices” that highlight America’s ingenuity. The 3,000-pound Gantry Bike, from which performers spin, slide and saltate, is the centerpiece of the production and is sure to be a showstopper. Behind all the machinations is an amusing narrative that illustrates the relationship between man and machine. Hold on to your hats, ladies and gents, you’re in for a ride.
FirstWorks presents Cirque Mechanics
October 29 at 7:30pm
Veterans Auditorium, One Avenue of the Arts, Providence