Flaming hula hoops, aerial dance routines, mind-blowing magic, and an indoor waterfall...all courtesy of the epic variety event known as WONDERSHOW. Produced and curated by magician Patrick Terry, this modern vaudeville spectacle has been running for nearly five years and shows no signs of slowing down. Each production features different performers and highlights the various genres of magic, burlesque, and the circus arts. The most recent installment at Brooklyn’s House of YES was truly memorable, mostly because of the artists involved, but also due to space itself. In recent years, Brooklyn has become the epicenter of a new theater [VIDEO] community populated primarily by millennials.

Its therefore fitting that House of YES is situated in Bushwick, the heart of Brooklyn’s art scene. A converted warehouse adorned with a dazzling array of decorative design, the strictly “21+” venue, is known for hosting glitter-strewn discos while also providing a platform for community engagement. Their mission is unbridled creativity and collaboration.

About the House of YES

“We are a space that really supports artists and producers in creating and showcasing work, being a place that brings artists from all mediums, scenes, backgrounds together, and being a safe space to take creative risks,” said founder Anya Sapozhnikova, who is also a performer. “We constantly try to make our events/shows in a way to make them as participatory for the audience as possible. Another important mission is inclusivity: making sure our venue is a safe place for all people to be themselves.

We put on variety shows, full-length productions, parties, and anything else that falls into the category of live entertainment and ways for people to gather and celebrate.”

Anya Sapozhnikova has known Eric Walton, the host of WONDERSHOW, for many years due to her career as an aerialist/showgirl in NYC's club and corporate party scene. As a fan of magic, Anya was intrigued by the idea of bringing WONDERSHOW to the House of YES.

“We are very pleased with the type of show it is, and all the new faces they bring into space every month,” Anya stated. “It’s perfect with our programming so it’s been smooth sailing from that point on. We are also interested in new shows and performances so anyone with an idea for one can email us at info@houseofyes.org and show us what they got. We're very interested in booking stuff that you can't see other places. We're looking for people who are ambitious risk-takers, who want to push their existing show to the next level.”

WONDERSHOW producer Patrick Terry confirmed the complementary dynamics between his show and the venue and noted that he gets a lot of joy out of working on the production.

“My favorite part about producing WONDERSHOW is collaborating with so many brilliant artists,” Patrick stated. “When we joined forces with House of YES last year, creatively the show turned a corner because we were able to combine our passions for performance and community with a team that also really values those principles. And the results have far exceeded my expectations."

Review of the WONDERSHOW

Regardless of whether one’s tastes are political, musical or theatrical, House of YES is an ideal setting for this brilliantly offbeat--and indeed magical-- series and the January 24th installment was a marvel to behold. Hosted by the witty Eric Walton, WONDERSHOW opened with a snazzy burlesque-style dance number from The Painted Ladies (who made a second appearance near the end). Then came Meister Blast, two well-built male jugglers in impossibly tight, 1970s-era, gym shorts. Although the routine was clearly played for laughs, their juggling skills were impeccable. Later, there were two songs performed by the Brooklyn-based comedy duo known as “Reformed Whores” and stand-up comedian, Ophira Eisenberg of NPR's Ask Me Another, left the audience in stitches with her hilariously poignant observations. Of all the impressive performers, three acts truly stood out: the aerial dancing of Anya Sapozhnikova, the mentalism skills of Vinny DePonto, and the hula hooping superpowers of Brianna Clements, who is better known by her stage name, “Miss 360.” Anya Sapozhnikova first took to the stage high off the ground with water cascading down upon her. She danced rhythmically to accompanying trance music, twirling around the swaying silks as graciously as a ballerina. Later she closed the show with a far naughtier number set to a slow and surprisingly heartfelt rendition of Nine Inch Nail’s infamous hit, “Closer” which was performed and arranged by Daisy Press.

Vinny DePonto was the most interactive with the audience. A young man with an awesome beard and a friendly demeanor, Mr. DePonto made the audience feel at home and comfortable, unlike some magicians who delight in antagonizing volunteers. His impressive memory demonstrations will not soon be forgotten. WONDERSHOW was filled with incredible performances, but Miss 360 was, by far, the greatest crowd-pleaser of the evening. An acrobatic hula hoop dancer, her act included some truly spectacular yoga-like poses while revolving flames circled the stage.

The hula hoops flowed smoothly and hypnotically, enchanting the audience and leading to deafening applause for both of her appearances. Without a doubt, WONDERSHOW is your best bet for all things vaudeville in New York City. Noting that every production features different acts, it is recommended to keep track of this series forthcoming schedule and to try and see as many of these incredible performances as you can. Best of all, tickets are typically in the $25 range which makes this show particularly affordable for practically anyone.

To learn more, visit the official WONDERSHOW website and don't miss the next performance Thursday, February 22nd, Live at House of YES. #Review #PerformingArts #Theatre