The Handsome Little Devils' efforts to bring old-fashioned Vaudevillian melodrama to theatergoers in New York City has caught the attention of town's snootiest critics. Earlier this year, the local troupe took their "Squirm Burpee Circus" act out east after securing a spot at the New Victory Theater off-Broadway, and the Devils' combination of slapstick comedy, dazzling magic feats and hand-crafted special effects seems to have pleased the theater critics at the New York Times.
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"The actors playing the heroes can outjuggle, outdance and outbalance any of the energetic acts that used to drive The Ed Sullivan Show in its heyday," NYT critic Laurel Graeber writes in her review of the troupe's show. "If Sullivan were still on the air, these guys would probably have a permanent home."
While Graeber pooh-poohs the troupe's fondness for "flatulence jokes" in a predictably highfalutin fashion, she praises the group's circus skills. She also pays particular tribute to Jason Knauf, the actor who plays the dastardly Baron Von Hamburger in the stageshow.
"The Baron doesn't execute any tricks, but makes up for it with wild-eyed enthusiasms and steampunk stratagems," Graber writes. "He may not destroy the circus, but he comes close to stealing the show."