Its a family affair 

Cirkoo serves a healthy helping of kooky cooking

click to enlarge Wondering why this man has golf balls in his mouth? - Find out at Table for Two at the MAT this weekend.
  • Wondering why this man has golf balls in his mouth? Find out at Table for Two at the MAT this weekend.

Lots of people say theyre going to run away and join the circus, but so few actually do. Jim Jackson did, joining the Royal Lichtenstein Circus as a clown after college. Jackson then met his wife fellow thespian Birgitta De Pree and opened up the local Manitou Art Theater with her in 2001.

I guess you can take the clown out of the circus, but you cant take the circus out of the clown. The plot of the MATs annual Cirkoo performance always rotates around Jacksons attempts at beginning a circus performance and being thwarted at every turn by De Pree.

The performance is truly a family affair. Jackson and De Prees 4-year-old daughter Elizabeth has attended all the rehearsals and even performed in the first Cirkoo four years ago. She was only two months old, and slept through all of the performances but one, Jackson says. The premise of that first show was to perform a circus quietly enough to let the baby sleep really.

This holiday season, their show caters to our nations obsession with celebrity chefs. (I only became interested when I could picture Martha Stewart cuddling up to a butch named Bertha and a prison-made afghan.) In Table for Two, DePree attempts to put on a cooking show while Jackson juggles vegetables, and pepper puppets play pastry pundits.

Jackson says its a slice from the familys daily life. We both love to cook, and were always dreaming up different things and making these feasts.

Years of practice have yielded a secret family recipe for hilarity. But I cant tell you what it is. Youll have to see the show to find out.


Cirkoo Table for Two

Theater at Venue 515, Business of Art Center, 515 Manitou Ave.

Dec. 29 and 30, 2 p.m. and Dec. 31, 4 and 7 p.m. with magic, fire and music shows, 4-9 p.m.; Jan. 1, 2 p.m., Jan. 6, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and Jan. 7, 2 p.m.Tickets: $8-$10; call 685-4729 or visit themat.org for more.


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