Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Cleveland & Akron

Pinch and Squeal's Wizbang!
Cleveland Public Theatre
Review by Mark Horning | Season Schedule

Also see Mark's review of It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman


Artwork Courtesy of Pinch and Squeal's Wizbang!
It's circus! It's variety! It's comedy! It's "vaudeville shoved kicking and screaming into the 21st century." It's Pinch and Squeal's Wizbang!, playing for just one more night of a two-night run at Cleveland Public Theatre. In the words of founders Jason Tilk (Pinch) and Danielle Tilk (Squeal), it's two hours of letting yourself forget. Leave the crazy weather, government, family and job at the door. You are in a safe and zany adult place where just about anything can happen and probably will.

As you enter the lobby at Cleveland Public Theatre you will find a man balancing on a plank that rests on a tube while a hula hoop spins around his waist and he is juggling three juggling clubs. This is before the show even starts. He jumps off the board and is joined by another juggler as they rapidly trade juggling clubs back and forth faster than the eye can keep up.

The show itself consist of a dozen performers who are placed in no particular order other than the way they were listed in the program: Keith Nelson, sword swallower; Pinch and Squeal, singing while accompanying themselves on accordion and miniature banjo; Magilla the Strong, plus-size contortionist and balancing act; Angelina Rose, hula hoop; The Pickle Sister, tap dancing duo; and Båhlléünichz "The Balloon Jerk," comedy act who after an onstage picnic with an audience member teaches everyone "ten minute intermission" in his native tongue (whatever it is).

The second act is more of the same, with seven segments that include Kitty Lemieux performing an aerialist demonstration with the closing regular act a return of Keith Nelson doing an eight-bowl spinning challenge while flipping multiple spoons into cups. The show closes with an all puppet review of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."

In spite of the wacky first impression, the show really is loaded with some extraordinary talent. There is also loads of audience participation as the fourth wall is broken time and time again. The show is a true community where every one of the dozen participants does a bit of everything.

Forget the rain, forget the cold, forget all your troubles—in short, fagetaboudit! Come to Cleveland Public Theatre for an adult treat of Pinch and Squeal's Wizbang!. It's two hours packed with crazy that will have you laughing your horse off.

Can't make the April 20th show? Pinch and Squeal's Wizbang will be back at Cleveland Public Theatre on October 25 and 26, 2019, for a "Halloween Spooktacular."

Pinch and Squeal's Wizbang!, through April 20, 2019, at Cleveland Public Theatre, 6415 Detroit Ave, Cleveland OH. Tickets can be purchased online at www.cptonline.org or by calling 216-631-2727.


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