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Troupe’s antics cross age barrier

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Ukrainian-born comedians, Dimitri Bogatirev and Iryna Ivanytska, have

been known to perform little miracles.

Once, during a show in Kiev, their comical antics on stage made a

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pregnant woman laugh so hard, she went into labor.

When the husband-and-wife clowns went to the hospital to check on

the mother and her newborn, the doctors teased them, saying they were

welcome back any time to help induce labor in other patients.

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Yes, humor is their forte, which is evident in their show,

“AGA-BOOM,” continuing its run until Aug. 24 at The Falcon Theatre.

Serving up a little slapstick with a dash of physical comedy, the

couple insists their roles are more as actors than clowns. They

define their brand of humor as silent comedy based on action. There

is no talking, but its more than mime, it’s body language and

everybody can understand it.

Bogatirev knew he had something special when an 85-year-old man

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came up to him crying and told him how seeing the show made him feel

like a kid again.

“It’s like bringing adults back to their childhood state,”

Bogatirev said. “Each person can find something special for them.”

To go with the clowning actions, Bogatirev wrote the lively music

with his brother, Vass Bogatirev. The music, Dimitri said, inspires

him to come up with a new act, whether it be for juggling or drama.

Audience participation is part of the show’s experience, Ivanytska

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said, and one sequence features balloons that hover over guests’

heads so everyone gets a chance to play.

Bogatirev received his training in professional clowning and

pantomime in the former Soviet Union. He was a student at the Moscow

Academy of Arts and has performed in solo and ensemble productions

around the world.

He joined Cirque Du Soleil’s “Alegria” in 1992 and after a successful five-year tour of America, Asia and Europe, the producers

invited he and Ivanytska to create and perform their clown act for

the new show “O” at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The

two new characters he created drew plaudits from critics coast to

coast.

Bogatirev decided to start Clown Action Productions, and through

that company, “AGA-BOOM” was born. The couple lives in Las Vegas and

has a 7-year-old son.

Ivanytska graduated from Kiev’s College of Variety and Circus Arts

studying clowning, dancing, acrobatics, acting, juggling and singing.

After meeting her husband, they co-created a children’s TV show. She

also was the host for children’s TV shows on Russian television.

Joining the duo in “AGA-BOOM” is Philip Karp-Briggs of Los

Angeles. After touring with Ringling Brothers Barnum And Bailey

Circus’ Blue Unit, he performed as a clown in Asia with shows in Hong

Kong’s Ocean Park and Japan’s Korakuen Amusement Park.

“AGA-BOOM” is the inaugural presentation of the Falcon’s new

Family Summer Theatre program. Performances are 8 p.m. Thursdays,

Fridays and Saturdays and 4 and 7 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $25, $20

for seniors 65 and older and students 11 to 23, and $15 for children

10 and under. Group rates also available. The Falcon Theatre is at

4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank. For ticket reservations call 955-8101.

* JOYCE RUDOLPH’s column appears Wednesdays. For events happening

this weekend, read her 48 Hours column Saturdays. Reach her at

637-3241.


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