April Fools 

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Let's begin with a little comparison. The train that brings the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus to town is over a mile long, consisting of 40 passenger cars carrying human cargo and 20 freight cars filled with props, costumes, and animals. There's a good reason why this vast army of entertainers and technicians has come to be known as "the greatest show on earth."

By contrast, Jean Saucier and Patrick Côté, the entire cast of Montreal's Circo Comedia, put on a show that can be every bit as astonishing. But if the two performers possess even decent suitcase-packing skills, they can probably back their entire show onto the stage at the Buckman Arts Center in a Honda Fit.

What Saucier and the wild-haired Côté lack in numbers they make up for in skills and inventiveness. Saucier, who has been making audiences gasp since age 11, is both a daredevil and master juggler, hilariously performing death-defying feats of precision and balance. Côté, his roller-skating assistant, is a stuntman, gymnast, and disruptive (and occasionally destructive) clown. Sometimes he plays drums. Utilizing unicycles, bicycles, ladders, swords, and the occasional roll of toilet paper, Circo Comedia's dynamic duo crams all the thrills and laughter of a full-sized circus and magic show into a much smaller package.

Circo Comedia at the Buckman Arts Center at St. Mary's school, 60 Perkins ext., Friday, April 1st, at 7 p.m. $25 (537-1483).

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