Arts and Entertainment

'Life' is a grab bag for the Flying K's



Remember grab bags? “Life: A Guide for the Perplexed” is like that. Everything’s a surprise.

In this production at ACT Theatre in Seattle, the Flying Karamazov Brothers juggle brilliantly. That’s expected, given their reputation in that particular art form. But the rest of the time, they do the unexpected.

Consummate multi-taskers, they make catchy rhythmn and music with unlikely objects, such as balls and a table, and a circular bank of electronic drum pads. They sing. They do silly dances. They crack wise. They drop in a few political jokes. They generally keep audiences guessing at what’s coming next as they give their whacky take on stages of life and how to get through them.

It’s lighthearted fun, sort of an overcaffeinated variety show. At a little over two hours, with an intermission (overtly promoted by the Karamazovs in their madcap style as an opportunity to buy their paraphernalia in the lobby), it’s also a tad too long. But other than that, there’s nothing bad to say about the show, which runs through March 21. It gets laughs, it entertains, and kids as young as 9 like it.

The Flying Ks (Paul Magid, Howard Jay Patterson, Mark Ettinger and Roderick Kimball aren’t really brothers) have staged 13 different shows at ACT since 1982. They got their start in 1972 in California when college chums Patterson and Magid, who was born in Seattle, combined their mutual talents in juggling, comedy and music. As a foursome, the group has toured the world, performed in every state in the U.S. and on Broadway, television and in movies, and shared stages with Frank Sinatra, Dolly Parton, the Grateful Dead, the Who and Robin Williams.

Editor Pat Jenkins: 925-5565,

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