I've been covering San Francisco's indie circus scene for years, first for a Guardian cover story and then for my book The Tribes of Burning Man, and I've always loved the colorful chaos it injects into the city's nightlife scene. And if you really want to see these creative and talented characters at their very best, in a show that brings all its myriad parts and beautiful pieces together into a big messy money shot, check out Roccopura tonight (Thu/2) or later this month at DNA Lounge.
Written by Gooferman frontman Boenobo the Klown, the creative force behind Bohemian Carnival and Burning Man's Rednose District, Roccopura is a circus-inspired rock opera that spills from a stage packed with various indie circus troupes right out into the audience, which it jostles, gooses, and brings into the entire performance.
When I caught the show's premiere on April 1, it was controlled chaos at its finest, a wild ride that had me alternatively laughing, dancing, mesmerized, and cheering throughout the show. And afterward, I felt like I'd been traveling right along with protagonist Sancho Panza during his bullfight, brawls, ocean voyage, mushroom trip, romance, and his other misadventures.
“We've spent the past few weeks honing stuff and doing fixes from the last show. It's much improved now,” Boenobo told me by phone as he worked on final preparations, but I'm not sure that I believed him. Surely, it was a chaotic experience, but I'm not sure how they could improve it, although I'll take this veteran showman's word for it and happily pay them another visit.
In addition to a live soundtrack and other performances by Gooferman, the show features the Vau de Vire Society, Sisters of Honk, and the Burley Sisters, all of them bringing sex appeal, acrobatic talents, and a wild sartorial style to the show. Check it out.