When I first heard Julia Bolus read from Circus of Infinite Attractions I was mesmerized . . . . Upon re-reading Circus of Infinite Attractions almost half a year later, I was again stunned by the imaginative idiosyncrasy and force of Julia Bolus’s poetry, by her capacity to enthrall and intoxicate without shortchanging either intellect or emotion . . . .  complete review: Voices in Italian Americana

 

Sideshows are usually seen less as the respite of the forlorn and romantic than the stage for the macabre. But they've led poet Julia Bolus to write about what happens when the audience leaves the fairground. In Circus of Infinite Attractions (Metropolitan Playhouse), the Actors Stock Company stages her poetry, to reveal a world of tender relationships in a setting often stigmatized for its more grotesque attributes . . . .  Director Keith Oncale's production is as humble as Bolus's shy prose. Most of the actors assume double roles, keeping each character distinct. The stilted calliope soundtrack to the screen-projected slides and the actors' frequent slow-motion movements brush a charming coat of clumsiness onto this bittersweet performance piece. —José Germosén     complete review: villagevoice.com

 

Director Keith Oncale’s gorgeous stage picture-often invoking a constantly shifting multi-ring spectacle- is both surreal and specific. His world never lets our eyes rest. As one character speaks to us, another is practicing for the evening’s event, while another is slowly shifting clothes and inevitably identities. The circa 1910 costumes and rich scenic elements add to Oncale’s beautiful transformation of the space..... The piece holds infinite possibilities, and its magic is well-worth checking out.  [Eva van Dok]

 

Poet Julia Bolus unwraps a strange but captivating world in Circus of Infinite Attractions. For their audience these performers are a gallery of oddities, from Polynesian dancer (Abena Koomson) to a flame swallower (Jeremy Schwartz). Offstage they unleash unexpected passions that border on fetishes.... Director Keith Oncale ... avoids the overused device of the actors' simply miming the text. Instead Oncale achieves the far more difficult goal of revealing each character's inner life. Bolus's short monologues emphasize the individuality of each circus performer, but her format also highlights their emotional isolation in spite of living together in close quarters. Circus is a highly imaginative work that should give as much pleasure in written form as onstage in this captivating premiere production at New York International Fringe Festival. [Lipfert] complete review: curtainup.com