Even before the show began, cast member Leo Abel used his charm to persuade two young boys from the audience to sweep the stage and dust the piano, making very sure they got it just right.
The audience was entranced even before Lucky began with the entrance of the title character played by the boyish, agile Henry Evans, director of Atlas. The mysterious, but obvious, placement of a banana peel on the floor very close to the audience provided just a bit of tension. Will someone slip on the banana peel? What do you think?
Lucky is divided into short sections that took the exuberantly naïve character from his initial wanderings about the Big City to a number of soulless jobs to falling in love and even, for a particularly spectacular moment, floating high above the stage on a girder construction that offered seemingly scores of ways to hang off it.
Watching Evans being bossed around by the tall beanpole Russel Norris, whether in an office job, cleaning a park or waiting on tables, was to watch classic comedy performed with brilliant, but invisible timing. (Credit choreographer Tyler Holobaski for his seamless contributions.)
Handsome Leo Abel provided yet another comic foil for Lucky whether trying to steal his briefcase or disturb his sleep. The calm, lovely Avery Deutsch was the unattainable love interest.
David Evans provided the sparkling musical soundscape, sometimes playing along with fifties and sixties style musical ditties.
The flowing scenery included ever-changing cityscapes on the back wall. Alex Womer’s exacting lighting design helped turn the Dixon Place performing space into a multitude of places.
Co-created by Henry Evans and Tommy McCarthy, with creative input by comedic consultant Robbie Motz and the entire cast, Lucky was a fresh breeze, the kind of joyous, human-scaled entertainment that is desperately needed.
Lucky (through August 16, 2017)
Atlas Circus Company
Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie Street, in Manhattan
For tickets, visit http://www.dixonplace.org
Running time: one hour with no intermission