Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bring in the clown

‘Snowflake’ returns to the Liberty

Express Staff Writer

Gale LaJoye returns to the Liberty Theatre in Hailey to perform in “Snowflake” Jan. 21-23. Photo by

Always a sellout performance, "Snowflake" starring Gale LaJoye, returns to the Wood River Valley for several performances at the Liberty Theatre in Hailey on Jan. 21-23. The story of Snowflake is one of a gentle street character who lives in a vacant lot littered with discarded objects.

Snowflake discovers their hidden magic and transforms inanimate objects into joyful treasures. A packing crate is transformed into a wind-swept ski slope. Discarded skis turn into toe shoes for a witty ballet. Packing bubbles, a bed frame and a rusty saw all produce memorable and beautiful music.

Snowflake captivates audiences of all ages by breathing life into what others regard as useless. With little more than imagination and hope, Snowflake creates a safe place for everyone—a dreamlike world.

Snowflake warms the hardest of hearts through laughter, tears of joy and the magic of theatre. Snowflake never utters a single word, yet speaks volumes to audiences of all ages about humanity, innocence and the need we all have for compassion, understanding and joy.

In this endearing silent comedy, LaJoye's mastery of timing, nuance and physical humor is highly entertaining. The captivating simplicity of Snowflake explains why the adage of great clowns is "keep it simple."

LaJoye is a graduate of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College. During the 1970s, he spent six years with Ringling Brothers Circus as boss clown, advance clown and master clown instructor.

In 1979, LaJoye left the circus to hone his comedic and miming skills for stage. During the 1980s, he toured his one-man shows, "Sometimes a Fool" and "Too Foolish for Words." In 1990, LaJoye created "Snowflake" and in 1995 began touring "Castles in the Sky."

"Snowflake" has appeared more than 900 times in theatres and festivals throughout the United States, Canada, Scotland, Australia, Hong Kong, Mexico and, for the last six years, Japan. From the northern-most tip of Hokkaido, Japan, to the most southern islands in the East China Sea, "Snowflake" toured 280 cities throughout Japan.

Show times are Friday, Jan. 21, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 22, at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Jan. 23, at 3 p.m. Adult tickets are $28 and children's tickets, 18 years and under, are $10. Ten front seats will be sold for $10 each night at the box office starting one hour prior to the performance. These tickets are limited to two per person.

Tickets are available at the Company of Fools' box office at the Liberty Theatre, 110 N. Main St. in Hailey. The box office is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Tickets can be charged by phone during box office hours by calling 578-9122 or ordered online at Tickets can be bought at the Liberty Theatre box office starting one hour prior to curtain time.

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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