For the Love of Linko: Tears of a Clown

Local Arts Reviews


For the Love of Linko: Tears of a Clown

The Yard at the Vortex,

through April 16

Running Time: 1 hr, 15 min

When a clown falls in love, the usual mayhem of being chased by an axe-wielding fellow clown just isn't that special anymore. Of course, because he's a clown, the falling aspect of falling in love leads to many a good piece of unintended schtick, with our hero fumbling and stumbling toward the object of his afflicted affections. Throw in a control-freak circus owner with a dark past and darker intentions, a couple of therapists in need of therapy, an activist clown, and a beautiful aerial artist -- oh, and plenty of clowning, juggling, chasing, smoking, and cursing -- and you have a great mix for an adult-oriented fable of love under the big top.

ONE Theatre Company has smartly produced Weldon Phillips' delightful, zippy, and merrily rakish play in the outdoor yard at the Vortex, creating with a few simple, colorful strokes a circus atmosphere and a well-told story. Here, Linko is the star attraction of a circus run by the shadowy and wicked owner, The Man. Linko's best friend is fellow clown and soon-to-be activist Mr. Sharpie, whose fight for the rights of thin clowns everywhere leads to the discovery of The Man's sinister history. And there is Aerial -- the beautiful aerial artist who wants to run away to Las Vegas to go to dental school -- for whom Linko's heart has taken its pratfall. Poor Linko just freezes up, literally, whenever Aerial is in the vicinity.

Sean Carey as Linko and Wade Williams as Mr. Sharpie make great clowns; they are equally adept in the many scenes out of the limelight, although their characters' clown natures can't help but creep up on them from time to time. T. Lynn Mikeska makes a divine heroine of Aerial, secretly fond of Linko, but not that secretly. And Daniel Lam and Heather Barfield go crazy with some fun physical portayals of the two mad psychiatrists intent on helping Linko overcome his resistance to talking to Aerial.

With the exception of a couple of scenes in the middle of this breezy 75-minute play, director Kregg Foote keeps things hopping, incorporating plenty of tricks and schtick that add to the lovelorn Linko's chaotic world without getting in the way of this cute and clever story. The settings and costumes by Jennifer Lindsley and Engela Edwards add just the right bright touch. If you can't stay up late to catch this outdoor production, come late Sunday afternoon, when the yard at the Vortex is a fun-filled and playful place to toss a ring or two, or catch a pleasant little play.

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for the love of linko, weldon phillips, one theatre company, sean carey, wade williams, t. lynn mikeska, daniel lam, heather barfield, kregg foote, jennifer lindsley, engela edwards

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