Eight high school students fuss about their looks, jockey for social position and explore romantic relationships with one another in the tradition of a romantic comedy, and with circus as the catalyst for the plot. Short Round Productions presents Filament, an acrobatic coming of age story. The lone American production at Underbelly’s Circus Hub, this show delivers the quintessential American perspective of optimism and lends the circus arts a sense of polish that we tend to associate most with Broadway musicals. It is also the first contemporary circus show I’ve seen that unabashedly embraces the appeal of American pop culture, which everyone knows is a cultural export with impressive financial impact.
What is different about this rom-com is that the hormonal high school students express their individuality though their circus disciplines. For example, there is the classic scenario of the new kid CD (played by Bertan Canbeldek) needing to make an impression in order to be invited in to the social group. In this case, he begins to bounce juggle and dance and the gossiping cliques pause and watch, slowly recognizing that he could be an interesting member of their group. The awkward girl with glasses (Leslie played by Allison Schieler) has an instantaneous crush on him and is coached by the popular girls (led by Ting played by Jess Mews) on how to catch his interest by parroting sexuality and rejecting her own mannerisms. One guess if this technique works? Why no, of course it does not! Even with the naivete of a coming-of-age tale repeating the mantra of American values, the al...
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