The moment every inch of pinchable skin on Jeffrey Freer’s naked body had gotten clipped with a clothespin and he stood on stage screaming in delight and pain, spraying his crotch with red Silly String, I knew my past-bedtime sojourn to Bizarre Bar on Wednesday night was not in vain. This was Circus of Dreams, the ongoing, monthly production of House of Screwball (“Events for the Others”).
I had never been to one of these things, but the language on the flyer got to me: “We’re back with the November installment of our whackadoodle love fest once described by an innocent first-timer as ‘pure anarchy’… or something like that.” Plus a slate of performers with titles like “Masked WTF Performance Artist,” “Creepy Doll Collector,” and “Rage Witch.” I began to think there was not anything on Earth I’d rather do on a Wednesday night than be in the company of these people.
It turned out I was half-right. The silent ginger voguer in the tie-dyed unitard was pleasantly sultry and by turns even mesmerizing; the clothespin guy had me sputtering in sympathy and genuinely entertained; and when host Matthew Silver (“The Great Performer”) first got up with his forest-dweller hairstyle and cartoon underpants (were they airbrushed, even? custom-made?), I was glad to be there instead of home in bed. But alas, pure anarchy is an erratic animal, and there were low points, too—like when the Rage Witch just stood there yelling “fuck you!” into the audience until she was hoarse. After a while, I couldn’t lift my eyes from my beer.
Definitely, though, if you’re into peeping some excellent outfits and not standing out in your weirdness, head to Bizarre some first Wednesday and pay your modest donation at the door. The crowd seemed like a bunch of nice people.
Circus of Dreams occurs the first Wednesday of every month at Bizarre, 12 Jefferson St.
April Greene can be contacted at [email protected]