Best of Cleveland 2017: Traveling Theater
Bizarre, awkward, awesome — Wizbang is the stage show you can't miss.
Jason and Danielle Tilk want you to meet their bizzarro friends.
A tattooed 6-foot-5 lazy strongman who rips license plates in half. An awkward lounge singer who nervously croons Lady Gaga and Sir Mix-a-Lot. A crazed ‘80s aerobics instructor who dances in sequined outfits.
So they started the roving Wizbang show to highlight the most talented performers they know in a lightning-paced outlandish variety circus a la the old Gong Show. “It’s this sort of epic little bit of extravaganza that really brings that audience to the end of the journey,” says Jason.
The show bucks the traditional circus format of a formal announcer and scheduled acts by having performers come and go haphazardly. While the audience may expect performers to start onstage, instead the Tilks — as vaudeville duo Pinch and Squeal — clown around with the audience, climbing over chairs, sitting on laps and kissing people on the cheek.
Wizbang is revving up for more hijinks with shows at Cleveland Public Theatre Dec. 8 and 9, and Feb. 16 and 17, and hopes to start a Cleveland circus school.
“Cleveland just needs something completely weird,” says Danielle. “It needs a little quirky.”
Rochester City News Paper
I saw two shows last night, and both of them, though different, are now on my recommendation list. Cirque Du Fringe peppers its performances with classic cornball humor, but Cleveland banjo and accordion duo Pinch and Squeal wallows in it. I mean this is "fill–the–bathtub-with-gin-and-gasoline-and-light-it-on-fire-before-doing-a-cannonball" wallowing in it.
They opened with a couple of dirty ditties from the 1920's and one from the early days of “Hee Haw,” complete with a harmonized Bronx cheer, before going into card and balloon tricks, a tirade in Pig Italian (no, not Latin, Italian) that made no sense whatsoever, and a beautiful French love ballad where Squeal attempted to stick two audience members in her party dress.. Ah, show business. I laughed my head off.