When it comes to juggling and comedy, they're sharp, rarely flat and almost never have an accident. They're The Flying Karamazov Brothers, and they're doing a one-night gig at NJ's McCarter Theatre, Apr. 8. The show, "Sharps, Flats & Accidentals," played at Off-Broadway's family oriented New Victory Theatre back in December 1996.
In late 1994, the four-man juggling and novelty troupe played Broadway for 50 performances in The Flying Karamazov Brothers Do The Impossible. That production featured a noted segment -- brought back this year -- called the Gamble, described in the Playbill thus: "Our champ will juggle any three objects, supplied and chosen by the audience, which are heavier than an ounce, lighter than ten pounds, and no bigger than a breadbox." "Objects" in past Gambles have included a slice of pizza, a chicken carcass, a Slinky, a plate of spaghetti, a carved pumpkin with a lit candle inside, and a pig's stomach stuffed with jello.
Recently, the Karamazovs have been touring in a version of the comedy Room Service tailored especially to their skills. The Flying Karamazov Brothers are, in real life, Paul Magid (Dmitri), Howard Jay Patterson (Ivan), Michael Preston (Ratikin), Sam Williams (Smerdyakov). Now 25 years old, the troupe has performed at festivals in Scotland, Ireland, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Bermuda and Israel.
"Juggling is rhythm," Ivan/Patterson was quoted as saying, "and rhythm is music. Based on the theory that if a=b and b=c, then a=c, we can conclude that juggling is music."
For tickets and information on "Sharps, Flats & Accidentals" at the McCarter call (609) 683-8000. -- By David Lefkowitz