Clowns have been getting a lot of bad press lately. From the creepy clown sightings that popped up across the United States in late 2016 early 2017 to Andrés Muschietti’s downright terrifying remake of Stephen King’s classic horror novel It (slated to come out in September of this year, but the promo material is pure nightmare fuel), now may not be the best time to don that shiny red nose. Local improvisor Mike Kosowan’s thoroughly enjoyable new solo show Incognito: in Wishy Washy plays on this idea and just runs with it. Seamlessly blending together the art of clown, magic, and physical comedy this is one show you won’t want to miss and is easily one of my favourites of the season.
Realizing that a change of occupation is in order, our clown protagonist goes “Incognito” by adopting a magician’s (who has conveniently gone on a break for the next hour) costume. However, the clown soon becomes dissatisfied with the ‘simple’ powers bestowed upon him by the magician’s outfit and orders a magic lamp to help boost his abilities. Our hero soon realizes though (as anyone who is familiar with the arcane arts knows) magic always comes at a price.
Kosowan is incredibly charming on stage which undoubtedly comes from his years of work within the Ottawa improv community and with his other troupe Grimprov. The tricks and illusions start small, basic card tricks and the like, and gradually build in impressiveness as the clown syphons more and more magic into his system. The last 15 minutes of this show are legitimately incredible featuring a superbly choreographed light show with the clown fighting to recapture the malevolent wizardry he earlier released unto the space and some of the best juggling I have ever seen in my life (in the dark no less!). Incognito: in Wishy Washy is an excellent display of Kosowan’s creative talents painting him as an adept illusionist, clown, and playwright.
I can’t recommend this show enough. It’s a barrel of fun and stars a local artist who has really come into his own here. The PG rating is pretty tame, so I would go so far as to say it’s fun for all ages and not to hesitate bringing your kids along. Historically speaking, clowns have gotten a pretty bad rap but with Incognito: in Wishy Washy Kosowan effectively fights that stigma.
Written and performed by Mike Kosowan
Presented by KosoWhat Productions
Venue 3: Studio Léonard Beaulne