Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Florida - West Coast

IncrediBello!
Historic Asolo Theater
Review by William S. Oser | Season Schedule

Also see Bill's review of Beau Jest


Bello Nock
Photo Courtesy of Ringling Museum
Feld Entertainment and The Ringling Museum join forces to present IncrediBello! at the Historic Asolo Theater. For a number of years, Circus Arts Conservatory and Ringling Museum produced Summer Circus Spectacular but for reasons unknown to me, there is a new producing partnership. With Feld Entertainment's flagship show, Ringling Brother's, Barnum and Bailey Circus, suspending operations for business reasons, Sarasota's own superstar clown/daredevil Bello Nock is available to star in this show. Bello has headlined eight editions of Ringling Brother's, and has been recognized as one of the two most prominent clowns active today (Barry Lubin as Grandma, now retired, was the other). Bello has been entertaining audiences for well over 20 years.

Bello is assisted by host David Shipman, daughter Annaliese, and Paul David (PD) Weisman. After introductions by Shipman, Bello's first spot is a quick change act, assisted by Annaliese. Next, David attempts to do a couple of card tricks but is no match for the antics of Bello, and the whole thing ends with a game of 52 Pickup. Bello performs one of his signature pieces, where he ends up fully inside a large, over inflated yellow balloon. I've seen this piece several times before—I have seen many operas more than once and I don't complain and I'm not complaining about this classic piece. The kids in the audience are by now totally delighted with Bello.

PD Weisman does a specialty spot on an apparatus that looks like two oversized steel hula hoops. He maneuvers it all over the stage and even controls the thing to spin at an angle to the stage. It is a fine act. Bello is asked to clear the stage of a single chair and, accompanied by Paul Dukas, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" ends up with 20 chairs all over the place. He proceeds to stack them and climb higher and higher until he is over 20 feet above the stage, doing handstands and other balancing tricks.

Right about here is the right time to say that Bello is a very interactive performer—the kids in the audience would be ready to bring home to stay, he has so much charisma. A high-wire apparatus is wheeled out (frankly, it's kind of amazing that the stage can accommodate it) and Annaliese, who has been walking the wire almost as long as she has been walking, does several tricks with PD. Dad takes over and does his daredevil stuff, which includes balancing on a chair on the wire and riding the tiniest bicycle (it can just about fit in Bello's palm) I've ever seen. Bello closes the show with a sway pole, which extends to almost the top of the proscenium of the stage (this is what Bello performed recently on "America's Got Talent"). After that, the cast assembles for audience appreciation, waves and goodbyes.

There are many kinds of entertainment that I love, and circus is quite high on this list. One of the thrills of circus is being able to enjoy the shows through the eyes of the many children in attendance. At the performance I attended, the many children were enthralled, judging from their voices. If there is a better way for parents or grandparents to spend a period of time with their children or grandchildren, I don't know what it might me. IncrediBello! is a perfect one hour of fantastic entertainment, just the right length for youngsters.

IncrediBello! presented by Feld Entertainment and The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art through July 29, 2017, at the Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota. For more information: www.ringling.org

Cast:
Bello Nock, Comic Daredevil
David Shipman: How Host
Annaliese Nock: Performer
Paul Daniel (PD)Weisman: Performer

Creative and Production Team:
Producer: Opportunity Nocks, Inc.
Writer and Director: Jennifer Nock
Lighting Designer: Samy Doty
Musical Director: David Killinger
Costume Design: Kay Torralva, Wriic's Costume Arts
Equipment Design: Opportunity Nocks, Inc., AcroSolutions


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