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News Article

The Power of Bubbles to Charm, Entertain

August 19, 2011
by Andrew Rudansky
Reprinted from the Sag Harbor Express

A single, solitary bubble floats through the air performing a feathery waltz; the prevailing wind leading the bubble through the dance. This one bubble has the power to entertain just about any of us. A hundred bubbles, that could peak the curiosity of a small group. A thousand bubbles could capture the attention of a growing crowd. A million bubbles, that could entrance a packed theater.

This is the idea behind “Bubble Time: The Dawn of Undiluted Joy!” a two man show performing at the John Drew Theater at Guild Hall on Wednesday, August 24 at 5 p.m.

“Bubble Time,” a creation of the comedic duo Casey Carle and Doug Rougeux, is a mixture of heartwarming storytelling, improv comedy, situational slapstick, circus showmanship and more than a few bubbles. The hour-long show is a culmination of the vast theatrical experiences of both performers.

Carle would say that everything really started at the circus. After studying at SUNY Geneseo, Carle attended The Ringling Bros. Clown College, and became a clown in the Ringling Bros & Barnum and Bailey Circus, performing hundreds of shows a year around the United States.

“When I was there, I was told nothing was new [in the circus],” said Carle, “I was told to just do something classic and do it well’.” But Carle didn’t want to do something classic, and undiscouraged, he decided to create a completely unique show. While with the circus he performed his bubble act in the center ring, all the while working on his secret bubble formula and working out new ways to entertain the crowd.

As Carle jokingly explains, “I ran away and joined the circus, and after two years I escaped the circus.”

After Carle left the circus he went on to perform in shows around the country performing his new bubble show, titled “BubbleMania.” When he last brought the show to Guild Hall, it sold out the John Drew Theater.

“I love this stuff,” said Carle. “I love bubbling. I love the science of it, I love the art, I love the theater.” Sharing his love for bubbling and performing was Doug Rougeux.

Rougeux, a Syracuse native, also attended The Ringling Bros. Clown College after studying at a different SUNY school, the University of Buffalo. He too became a clown for the Ringling Bros & Barnum and Bailey Circus, albeit at a different time, and he too left the circus after touring for two years.

He performed his own version of Carle’s “BubbleMania” since 1991, adding his own unique brand of humor and quick improvisational wit to the one-man show.

“[Rougeux] is really the one who brings the improv skills to the stage,” said Carle.

The two have individually traveled the globe performing scripted theater, improv comedy and bubble themed shows.

After performing individually for many years, the two finally teamed up to create “Bubble Time!” in 2008 after planning the show for three years.

“We knew we wanted to work together,” said Carle about teaming up with Rougeux, “we really wanted to do a duo show.”

“Bubble Time!” took years to produce because of the pair’s busy touring schedules with other unrelated shows. Carle said that a lot of the planning for the show was done over phone and email.

He said that “Bubble Time!” is a show in constant flux. Scenes are sometimes added and discarded from performance to performance; and audience participation, a principal component to the show, creates many unpredictable situations. Luckily thinking on their feet comes naturally to the duo.

With their endless planning and tweaking, Rougeux and Carle have created a heartwarming show that can be enjoyed by all ages. Not simply a kiddie show but rather a family show full of clean, clever humor.

“This show touches the heart,” said Carle, “we love that about the show.”

Unlike “BubbleMania,” this show places an emphasis on a central storyline. Rougeux plays the bumbling everyman character, “Bub,” who is the friend and foil to Carle’s “Yesac Elrac The Bubblemaniac.” The hour long show is performed completely non-verbally, allowing the bubbles to take center stage and the comedy to come from a more childlike place.

“Doug and I are both kids at heart,” said Carle.

“Bubble Time: The Dawn of Undiluted Joy!” will be performed at Guild Hall in the John Drew Theater, 158 Main Street, East Hampton. Tickets are $16 for adults and $13 for children, with reduced prices for members. For more information or tickets please call 324-4050 or visit Guild Hall’s website at www.guildhall.org.

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