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Attached By Magmanus

A very entertaining interactive duo circus act from Sweden comprised of offbeat sequences involving Velcro, acrobatics, juggling and seesaws. 

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Magnus Bjoru and Manu Tiger in a scene from Attached by Magmanus (Photo credit: Ian Douglas)

Magnus Bjoru and Manu Tiger in a scene from “Attached by Magmanus” (Photo credit: Ian Douglas)

Darryl Reilly

Darryl Reilly, Critic

Two bearded and long-haired pony-tailed men in dark gray space suits with black Velcro patches appear as the lights come up. For the next ten minutes, they wrestle, slam each other, and get tennis balls hurled at them from the audience while frequently getting stuck to each other.  This is the opening sequence of the very entertaining contemporary circus show aptly titled Attached By Magmanus.

The tall Magnus Bjoru and the shorter Manu Tiger have created and perform this engaging simple spectacle lasting 65 minutes.  Though mostly silent, they are highly personable and their droll interactions with the audience are quite funny.  Several times spectators are invited on stage most comically to pry one of them off of a large Velcro mat with a crowbar.

The show features often breathtaking displays of juggling and acrobatics involving seesaws, platforms, wooden boxes and large mats. An elaborate Rube Goldberg set-up of contraptions with two audience members participating in a sensational domino effect is the rousing finale.

Attached is presented by the Swedish company Magmanus that was founded in 2009 by Mr. Manu, an acrobat, and Mr. Bjoru, a juggler.  Originally performing on streets they have now appeared internationally in 21 countries.  Their tremendous circus skills are enhanced by the superior production elements that they have assembled.

Magnus Bjoru and Manu Tiger in a scene from Attached by Magmanus (Photo credit: Ian Douglas)

Magnus Bjoru and Manu Tiger in a scene from “Attached by Magmanus” (Photo credit: Ian Douglas)

Director Jay Gilligan shrewdly maintains momentum by keeping the sequences to just the right length and of varying visual styles.  The bare stage is strewn with objects used in the show and long poles with lights. Lighting designer Patrik Bogårdh perfectly adds drama and excitement with blackouts, spotlights, and differing degrees of brightness. Magnus Larsson’s music is an appealing variety of pulsing electronic compositions.

The grand futuristic Velcro suits are fashioned by Irene Westholm. The other costumes are designed by ClaesMikael Svensson and are an assortment of functional white and gray T-shirts and black jeans that add an industrial dimension.

“Our vision of the company is to spread happiness and inspire our audience to follow their dreams,” is the ambitious mission of Magmanus.  With Attached, they have unquestionably succeeded at this quest, the proof being the roars of delight and awe from the crowd of many children and adults. 

Attached by Magmanus (September 25-26, 2015)

NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square, in Manhattan

For tickets, call 212-998-49412 or visit http://www.nyuskirball.org

Running time: 65 minutes with no intermission

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Darryl Reilly
About Darryl Reilly (504 Articles)
A native New Yorker, Darryl Reilly graduated from NYU with a BFA in Cinema Studies. For the Broadway League, (formerly The League of American Theatres and Producers) he developed, and for five years conducted their Broadway Open House Tours, which took visitors through The Theatre District and into several Broadway theaters. He contributed to Broadway Musicals Show by Show: Sixth Edition (Applause Books). Since 2013, he has reviewed theater, cabaret, and concerts for Theaterscene.net.

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