“Journey for the Sun” is a weird and fun romp of a performance piece about a lonely drive-in movie theater owner who goes into space to rescue the world from the burning sun. It features aliens, satellites and an enormous, remarkable robot puppet. Like all shows at the Actors Gymnasium, it invokes a sense of childlike wonder. It’s hard not to feel joy when watching silks, juggling, tumbling and clownery.
But it’s a tough one to critique because more than anything, it’s a showcase meant to highlight the new skills the young ensemble at Actors Gymnasium have learned in their classes. So the plot, writing and content take a backseat to the circus skills on display. It’s entertaining, inspiring, and pretty adorable, but I wouldn’t call it thought-provoking.
Going to Actors Gymnasium shows always feels awkward to me: I have a hard time shaking the sensation that what I’m watching is meant for the parents of the young ensemble, kids or folks who are generally less sober than I am. But everyone should see something at the Actors Gymnasium at least once. If only to remember the fluttery feeling of joy in your heart that only circus can invoke. (Emma Couling)
Actors Gymnasium, 927 Noyes Street, Evanston, (847)328-2795, actorsgymnasium.org, $25. Through March 25.