A Circus of Great Variety Comes to Guild Hall

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Members of the cast from "Cirque du Fabuleuz," which opens at Guild Hall on Friday night. Courtesy photos

Not much can come between a woman and her bra, let alone fit.

Except boxed wine, as new friends Kasia Klimiuk and Anita Boyer once discovered from the audience of the erotic burlesque show, “Zumanity,” in Las Vegas eight years ago.

“There was this girl on stage …” Klimiuk started.

“Oh my God, the wine?!” Boyer interjected.

“Yeah, she had wine bags stuffed into her bra. She was basically drinking wine out of her bra.”

“She looked like she was well endowed and then, all of a sudden, she pulls out a straw and starts drinking,” Boyer said, bursting out laughing. “And it’s like, Franzia, out of the box. This bag comes out of her top. And we were just like, ‘Oh my God, we need to do more variety shows.’”

It was their introduction to Cirque du Soleil, and the inspiration behind their newest production, “Cirque du Fabuleux,” premiering on Friday night at Guild Hall in East Hampton — the 22nd show from their company, Our Fabulous Variety Show, born just before their inaugural trip to Nevada.

“‘Zumanity’ was very cabaret-like, with different comedy acts, dancers, aerial artists and acrobats, so it inspired our show style,” Klimiuk said, “of creating variety shows with that vaudeville background.”

“And it all started with Cirque du Soleil,” Boyer said.

Their own circus-themed variation will include comedy — from improv to sketch to slapstick — epic dance numbers, the fabulous drag queen diva RaffaShow, Samantha Slithers on stage with her snakes, and even professional aerial artist Laura Haley.

The circus is where Haley got her start, and where she first tried her hand at the aerial arts.

Laura Haley will perform on the silks in “Cirque due Fabuleux.”

“I toured with a circus show for about four years as a dancer, and while that was going on, I decided, ‘Oh, that’s what I want to be doing: aerial,’” she said. “I was able to start training on the road and then I took it really seriously when I got off tour. I’ve always been a very athletic dancer, so that was really appealing to me.”

Aside from getting over the height factor — Haley performs anywhere from 15 to 40 feet in the air — the aerial arts rely on pure strength, control and focus to achieve the technique and flow of dance that she loves so much, she said.

At Guild Hall, she will perform on the silks, an art form developed by longtime Cirque du Soleil performer André Simard. Performers climb suspended lengths of fabric, only to wrap and suspend themselves, drop and swing from them, all without the use of any safety lines.

“It took me a bit to adjust to,” said Haley, who will also perform on the lyra, or an aerial hoop, suspended from the ceiling. “Being that high up in silk doesn’t bother me as much, because I have my tail to the floor. But with lyra, and not having something underneath me, it definitely adds a whole other element. I have to change my act around to make sure I’m safe.

The circus-themed show will include Samantha Slithers on stage with her snakes.

“When I’m at the point where I’m performing, honestly, it’s like my time to have fun,” she continued. “Working up to the point of performance is where I’m drilling, drilling, drilling, making sure I’m strength prepared and endurance prepared. So when it comes down to perform, I don’t like to be in my head about that. It’s just my time to have fun and express myself.”

Our Fabulous Variety Show’s new production comes in place of the company’s annual Christmas show, though there are several holiday undertones — “a few feel-good, happy, holiday moments,” Boyer said.

“The whole show is really a fun escape fantasy, more so than any of our other shows,” she said. “There is nothing political. There is nothing edgy. It’s all really fun, tongue-in-cheek, slapstick, magnificent fantasy. Maybe it’s because art imitates life, and Kasia and I have needed an escape ourselves.”

The women exchanged a laugh, knowingly — now the best of friends.

“We’re not recreating musicals. We’re not putting on plays that already exist in the world,” Klimiuk added. “We are writing our own scenes, we are creating our own improv, all of our dances are choreographed by Anita and I. Everything is fresh and original, and we like to keep it new and exiting.”

Our Fabulous Variety Show presents “Cirque du Fabuleux” on Friday, November 30, at 7:30 p.m. at Guild Hall, located at 158 Main Street in East Hampton. Additional performances will be held on Saturday, December 1, at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, December 2, at 2 p.m., Tickets range from $20 to $55. For more information, visit ourfabulousvarietyshow.org.

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