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My Life in the Basement

John Kane: from South Buffalo basement to ringmaster at Lincoln Center.

John “Circ” Kane will present his autobiographical play, My Life in the Basement, for three performances this weekend, June 1-3. Directed by Joyce Stilson, the show asks the age-old question “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

For Kane, who grew up in South Buffalo during the 1970s, the obvious answer was “Be a clown!” Literally.

He did shows for imaginary audiences in his basement, while his father communicated to him through the ventilation duct, before embarking on forays into clowning, fire-eating, and finally, became ringmaster for the Big Apple Circus at Lincoln Center in New York City—really!

Kane has over 30 years of circus performance to his credit. The show uses Kane’s unusual boyhood as an overweight and introverted South Buffalo child to tell a tale of universal appeal. His adorably self-deprecating comedy and sense of fun, guides his journey from childhood fantasy to the realization of an unlikely dream. He introduces the audience to a colorful array of characters and family members in an endearing tale of triumph over (and surrender to) the ridiculous!

Performances are Friday, June 1 and Saturday, June 2 at 9:15pm and Sunday, June 3 at 7:15pm at the Blackthorn Restaurant & Pub (2134 Seneca Street). Tickets are $20. Call 825-9327 for reservations.