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Cuckoo for Cirkoo  

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The turn of the year is a time for lots of painful traditions. Rarely do adults get to showcase our lack of, well, adulthood, like we do on Dec. 31.

Drink too much? Develop an intimate relationship with eggnog that reminds you why it's available just once a year? Make resolutions that ultimately will disappoint and leave you feeling worthless, tired and painfully aware of your own shortcomings as a human being?

Well, forget about all that, because the circus is coming to town.

Cirkoo on Tour: A Circus of Sophisticated Silliness returns for its fourth annual show. The most recent incarnation of the touring production includes routines from all previous years. But the MAT's Jim Jackson is quick to point out that although certain elements might be recognizable, "it's always different."

Jackson and Birgitta DePree reprise their roles as Mr. and Mrs. Guffaw, the clowns who are trying to run a circus that never quite gets off the ground. Describing an earlier version of the show, Jackson highlights the intimate audience/performer environment at the MAT: "One of the first years we did Cirkoo, our daughter Elizabeth was just a baby, so the whole show revolved around two clowns trying to do a whole show without waking the baby.

"People still ask me if Elizabeth [now 3 years old] will be in the show. But she's kind of more interested in interacting with people in the front of the house."

Jackson and DePree have earned well-deserved reputations as gifted storytellers and actors, but they have special skills for clowning and using imaginative props. Expect unicycles, juggling, stilts and oversized bubbles.

-- Bettina Swigger

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Cirkoo On Tour: A Circus of Sophisticated Silliness

Manitou Art Theater, 515 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs

Dec. 29, 30 and 31, 2 and 7 p.m.; Jan.1, 2 p.m.; Jan. 7, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Tickets: $8; call 685-4729 or visit themat.org.

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