Wait, There are Clowns in the Audience! 

Variety shows … ha! A bunch of folks from Middle America looking to make it big playing the ukulele or burping the national anthem. Throw in a sword-swallower or fire-eater or pretty lady, and you get a kind of mutant strain, like New York's Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, more sideshow than circus, really. The show, coming to Petersburg's Sycamore Rouge July 16 at 7 p.m., is on a summer tour of the East Coast. So somewhere along I-95 there's a caravan of vaudevillians, the hula-hoop girl sitting next to the mime who makes bondage wear out of balloons, the bullwhip-cracking gal looking for the acrobat's other shoe. Which proves that America still has genuine weirdness in its veins. Tickets are $15. And, worth mentioning, you get $5 off if you dress as a clown. Which you'll probably pay back in shrink fees. Call 957-5707 or visit www.sycamorerouge.org. S

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