Not the More Lovely: A Circus Sideshow

Spitting water, discussing cheesecake: Ah, yes, performance art


Through Oct. 22

Tickets are $12-15



Noh Space, 2840 Mariposa (at Florida), S.F.

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Circus Proboscis' Not the More Lovely: A Circus Sideshowis performance art in the old-fashioned, Yoko Ono sense of the word. It's the sort of show in which the expressions "black tea" and "Heimlich maneuver" coexist unremarkably in the same sentence; the performers spend much of the time squatting, sticking out their tongues, and rolling their eyes as if they were gargoyles; and everything feels like a scene out of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Loosely based on a little-known version of the Pandora's box myth in which the eponymous box, as the program notes explain, contains "all the good and evil blended together in one consummate whole forming the irrepressible force of nature," the production combines physical theater, slow-burning live indie rock music, and sublimely grotesque hand-drawn animation into a strange audiovisual stew. Some of you might wish that Pandora had kept this particular box shut and thrown away the key. But whether they're spitting water at one another, fluttering like hummingbirds in vintage-style chiffon dresses, or having conversations about cheesecake in pseudo-British accents, these vaudevillians throw themselves into their carnival as if the future of humanity depended upon it.

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