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Family Circus

Lorenzo Pisoni in Humor Abuse


Lorenzo Pisoni never ran away from home to join the circus. His home was the circus---the Pickle Family Circus---a one-ring conglomeration of jugglers, clowns, acrobats and other unique performers that was established and run by his parents.

He began his career at the age of two, toddling onstage at intermission to imitate the performances of the other members of the company, and became a contracted participant at the age of six.

As a “Pickle kid” he grew up backstage, being trained in the arts of the circus, and, when his father left, he began performing in the roles his father had initiated. He was 11.

Now in his 30s, he performs alone, reprising the story of his life in a funny, bittersweet homage to his father, a strict martinet whom he adored and obeyed and tried endlessly to please by practicing falling down stairs over and over again.

His patter, his juggling, his role-playing, and his agile clowning are all part of his performance in Humor Abuse, his 90-minute, action-packed play in which he plays with a dummy that looks like him, curls in and out of a small trunk, and dodges heavy objects dropped explosively from the rafters. And he obviously enjoys every minute of it.

And so does his audience, for Pisoni is charming, engaging, and sweet. And very very funny.

Humor Abuse can be seen Tuesdays–Fridays at 8 pm, Saturdays 2:30 and 8 pm, and Sundays at 1 and 6:30 pm through November 3rd at the Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. Call 213-628-2772 for tickets.