Costumes & Characters
"I wanted to bring modern and retro together. The cut of the costumes recalls the
vaudeville era, while the fabrics and materials are contempoary. What makes the
costumes original is the juxtaposition of the two." - Dominique Lemieux
Director David Shiner loves exploring the extremes of the world of the clown, and the
costumes reflect the alternating Machiavellian and angelic facets of the comic characters.
Dominique Lemieux has tapped into the world of the Marx Brothers and vaudeville to create
the costumes. Historical allusions can be found throughout. The geometrical shape motifs used
in several costumes evoke the Art Deco years of the 1920s and Cubist painting, with a nod to
the industrial era. The pink, blue and green of certain costumes recall the retouching of
period photographs, for example.
The costumes gradually pass from monochrome to colors that use vibrant shimmering and
changing materials to evoke the flamboyance of the world of vaudeville. Iridescent
ribbed fabrics, holographic effects, marabous and sequins, quick costume changes,
phosphorescent fabrics, oversized jewelry: everything is designed to accentuate the
artificial and the eccentric. As an example: The designs on the pants and jackets worn by
some of the dancers were inspired by distorted patterns of windows.
The enormous light box that forms the backdrop of the stage shines a diffuse light
that creates optical illusions on the costumes: colors appear and disappear as if by
magic, depending on the background. The egocentric, megalomaniac producer Schmelky’s
costume is made of a moiré lamé (a base of satin laminate);silver turns to green under
A brash, ambitious producer who is trying to put together a spectacular
variety show. He's a megalomaniacal showman as if he were Danny DeVito doing
Jackie Gleason. (Jerry Kernion in Chicago, Danny Rutigliano in New York and
Schmelky's assistant, who is often under rule by her boss' loud yells.
Margaret is droll and wears a wig constructed out of thirteen pencils.
Danny and Wayne, a couple of Schmelky's mischievous sidekicks.
(Wayne Wilson and Daniel Passer)
A trio of badly-behaved clowns who crash the auditions, spreading
chaos in all directions. There's Patrick de Valette, who looks like the
long-haired Lone Gunman from The X-Files (he might just be the strangest
human you've ever seen; he's a a diminutive guy with big black spectacles
and long stringy hair, who runs around doing modern dance movements in his
orange underwear like a crazed gecko); Claudio Carneiro, who looks like
Jemaine Clement from Flight of the Conchords (he impersonates people with
knee injuries by saying "ow" with each step. He has two numbers: a short,
deaf-puppet routine and a mimed dinner date with an audience member); and
Gordon White, who looks like Christopher Lloyd (he portrays the world's
oldest mime, with a walker... and gas).