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Turn That Frown Upside Down 

Wednesday, Feb 12 2014

The Purple Paoli Memorial Hoopla is a fitting tribute to the circus legend it was created to remember. Paoli Lacy was a mainstay of the Bay Area circus scene for decades, from her days performing with Everybody's Family Circus in the '70s, to her invention of the "Clown Therapy" technique, to her work directing and teaching with Make-A-Circus and Miracle Theatre. The Hoopla was written and directed by Jeff Raz and Joan Mankin, two Pickle Family Circus veterans who were long-time friends and collaborators with Paoli. The cast was drawn from the many Bay Area performers who had personal ties to the beloved clown, and features current and former members of the UniverSoul Circus, Ringling Bros., Cirque du Soleil, and the Wuqiao International Circus Festival. Raz says the show is a clown act written in four scenes, and that all of the material was created with Paoli's spirit in mind. "It mirrors her life in a way," he says. "It's about making things. And that's what she was about. Making something." Bonus tip: Come early for midway-style carnival entertainment before the show.

Mon., Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m., 2014

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Devin Holt

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