Sexy clowns will take the stage downtown this weekend in an old-timey musical circus extravaganza full of acrobatics, stilt walkers, flame throwing, tap dancing, singing, storytelling and laughter.
Dr. Sinn’s Freak Island Musical Sideshow’s encore performance of its first full-length debut is Saturday at 7 p.m. at The Library at Market Street. The show contains adult humor. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door.
“We’re nice clowns,” said the group’s director, known onstage as Sally B. Dash. “We want them to come in and be OK — to have their funny bone tickled.”
One of the group’s goals is to help people get over their fear of clowns, Sally said. It’s all part of the clown revival movement. Dr. Sinn’s Freak Island Musical Sideshow is not about being creepy — there’s no white face paint.
The two-hour act stars four performers from the Gainesville burlesque community — Dr. Becky Sinn, Sally B. Dash, Della Darling and Jenny Castle — with seven other performers throughout the show.
During the first performance Saturday, Sinn’s first act was full of stunts, gags and adult humor. Starting with bad magic tricks, the show escalates to a strip tease with Castle while she fire-twirls to Sinn playing a song about sexual conquest. As the show goes on, the acts become more movement oriented. The cast members shake to Sinn’s songs and throw in puns whenever possible.
“It’s the sexiest damn clown show there ever was,” said Dr. Becky Sinn.
Although the first act is mostly big shock-and-awe skits, the second act is more dance-oriented. The group shows off its ballet, tap, belly dancing and pantomiming skills and tells stories about puppetry, fortune telling and parodies of popular horror movies and shows. Sinn lyrically narrates the skits with musical accompaniment on guitar, fiddle and accordion.
Dr. Sinn’s Freak Island formed 10 months ago when Dr. Sinn met the woman who plays Jenny Castle at a birthday party, and they were asked to play a few songs. With a few quirky props and some original tunes, the Freak Island was created.
The actress who plays Dr. Sinn sings and has been playing guitar for 20 years. She wrote 75 percent of the music for the show, and was mostly inspired by music from the ‘20s, ‘30s and the cabaret duo The Dresden Dolls. She wanted the name of her group to reflect her music and sound like an old-time sideshow.
“This is a dream come true for me,” she said.
By the second time they performed, Jenny asked Sally to join the band. Jenny said she is very selective about whom she asks to join their group. Everyone involved is cut from the same cloth and works very well together.
“The universe draws these people to me,” she said. “It’s fate.”
[A version of this story ran on page 10 on 11/13/2014]