Review: Circle of Eleven's wordless comedy 'Leo' alters reality, defies gravity

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Circle of Eleven's wordless comedy 'Leo' alters reality, defies gravity NEW YORK — Finding himself trapped in a room with no doors or windows, a man might want to climb the walls in search of an exit. http://festival.co.nz/yk-images/a2d5d59a88b3e553e7b92e31dc66f929/listing/Leo+%281%29+PIC+CREDIT+Heiko+Kalmbach.jpg 2012-01-18T22:03:48+00:00 2012-01-18T22:05:41+00:00 > Associated Press, USA Leo

Jennifer Farrar - Associated Press, USA

NEW YORK — Finding himself trapped in a room with no doors or windows, a man might want to climb the walls in search of an exit. Agile performer Tobias Wegner appears to do exactly that, to great humorous effect, in the charming, wordless performance piece, "Leo."

Based on an idea by Wegner and created by the German company Circle of Eleven, the acrobatic solo show was the winner of the 2011 Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh award, and is currently in a limited run at the Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row.

Playfully directed by Daniel Briere, Wegner explores Leo's unusual circumstances with physical creativity and gentle wit. He performs graceful maneuvers onstage while his movements are projected on a large screen. But in the video, the camera has been tilted so that his stage floor now appears to be a wall, and Leo walks and perches on walls while his hat and necktie defy gravity. A mysterious suitcase produces a variety of musical accompaniments as he looks for a way out, and a piece of chalk creates unexpected magic, along with some eerie danger.

Leo wears an air of bemusement at his predicament, as Wegner perfectly interacts with special effects in the video while endlessly repositioning himself.

Thanks to the brilliant work of the creative team, including set and lighting by Flavia Hevia, delightful animation by Ingo Panke and choreography by Juan Kruz Diaz de Garaio Esnaola, one man's quest for freedom takes Leo and the audience on a fantastical, memorable journey together.

The clever comedy runs through Feb. 5, and will also be performed at Spoleto USA in May.

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