Humor Abuse successfully features the loving and celebratory life of the son of a clown. When Co-creator/Performer Lorenzo Pisoni was six years old, he was already a contracted member of the Pickle Family Circus—a diverse group of jugglers, acrobats, Musicians and of course clowns.
The intimate staged performances of the Pickle Family Circus was uncommon, due to their passionate choice to embrace the spirit of the neighborhood circus and function in a single ring and without circus animals.
Such if the case of the one-man show Humor Abuse; using the original Pickle Family backdrop and props built by his parents, Lorenzo never thinks twice when he tells the audience that he was “abused in the name of humor.” Seriously.
Lorenzo comes out of the gate running, decked out in clown gear and music fit for Vaudeville, as he chases the wondering spotlight and ushers in the evening with a little Italian, sprinkled with some good natured humor and a dollop of charming black and white family pictures.
The word circus is brand name within itself—especially when you’re a little boy trying to establish yourself in this complex, yet entertaining world. With his dry humor and quick wit, Lorenzo the ringmaster savors every detail and gimmick that kept the Pickle Circus running for so many years—tumbling, clowning and juggling, he shows the audience that the circus is in his blood to stay. Lorenzo demonstrates how the circus community, are visual creatures as he sets up one amusing act after another to showcase how he spent his childhood on the road in “tent cities.”
Giving the audience a backstage tour to the classified workings of this special kind of world, Humor Abuse is very serious about its comedy and one man’s pursuit to try and understand his father and the humor that came with him. It is a delightful celebration of how one kid learned to appreciate to tricks of trade and embrace the circus quirks that made his father and his entire family standout among the rest.
Smart and playful, Humor Abuse has two great things going for it, Lorenzo and the writing. Lorenzo devours the script and manages to steal every scene-all in the name of comedy. Lorenzo and the writing are a winning combination, as he takes us through each step of his life as he struggled to learn how to juggle and fall down a flight of stairs; his temporary defiance to break loose from the cosmos of the circus and take-on high school full time and finally reprising his role on and off later in life.
Humor Abuse is the epitome of great comedy as Lorenzo’s dazzling performance is not only a tribute to his father and the circus, but his sincerity on what brought him back and keeps him united with the Pickle Family. It’s not difficult to figure out; his father was not masquerading as clown-that is who he was and will always be. Once your in this world, it begins to make sense.
Humor Abuse is running now through November 3, 2013 at:
Mark Taper Forum
at the Music Center
downtown Los Angeles
135 N. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Published on Sep 26, 2013