Past Reviews

Broadway Reviews

Slava's Snowshow

Theatre Review by David Hurst - November 17, 2019

Slava's Snowshow Created by Slava Polunin. Staged by Slava Polunin. Scenography: Slava Polunin and Viktor Plotnikov. Cast: Francesco Bifano, Spencer Chandler, Georgiy Deliyev, Alexandre Frish, Slava Polunin, Vanya Polunin, Robert Saralp, Nikolai Terentiev, Elena Ushakova, Aelita West, Bradford West, Artem Zhimo.
Theatre: Stephen Sondheim Theatre, 124 W. 43rd St. (between Broadway and 6 Avenue)

Photo by Veronique Vial
If children's laughter is the barometer of a show's success, then Slava's Snowshow at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre is a certified hit. Making a return to Broadway after more than a decade's absence, Slava Polunin and his merry band of clowning mischief-makers are a welcome respite from the political gloom and doom facing our world today. The ability to make children (and adults) smile with delight can't be underestimated and there are smiles aplenty in this silly show the whole family can enjoy.

Slava's Snowshow was first seen Off-Broadway at the Union Square Theatre in 2004 before making its Broadway debut in 2008 at the Helen Hayes. Its structure, such as it is, remains basically unchanged and that's a good thing. With a rotating ensemble of clowns, the audience is treated to a loveable gang of sad sacks and their ridiculous antics, complete with an avalanche of bubbles and, literally, a blizzard of snow in its now famous finale, a thrilling coup de théâtre composed of small squares of white paper which you'll happily be picking out of your hair and clothes for days.

A word of warning for those of you who are clown-averse (and you know who you are) or recoil in horror from audience participation: Slava's Snowshow isn't for you, particularly in the orchestra seats where you're bound to get a little wet and caught up in a spider's web of enchantment. But if you can put your seasonal Grinch away for a few hours, there's wonderment and charm to be had with these clowns' well-intentioned mayhem.

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