“Exactly,” says Jim Dodge, comedian and Sideshow partner “if a particular musician or comedian isn’t your cup of tea, just wait five minutes and a contortionist or an acrobat or a magician will be taking the stage that will be.”
For the past year, McGarvey and Dodge—both Hoboken residents—had
been toying with the idea of producing a show at Hoboken’s Mile Square Theatre. They wanted to get past the formulaic approaches to shows they’ve participated in for years.
“Jim and I realized that people have seen plenty of shows with comedians and musicians” says McGarvey whose music has appeared on network television and feature films and been critically acclaimed by the New York Times, Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune and Billboard. “But how often do audiences get the opportunity to get up close to a truly unique experience with a range of different types of performers that we could gather in a sideshow or variety format?”
Enter Guinevere DiPiazza, a friend and longtime Hobokenite who also happens to be a professional aerialist, circus coach and choreographer. “Guin had been a friend for years. But when we decided to bring her on as a co-producer it opened up a whole new universe” says Dodge who has appeared on “The Daily Show,” NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Myers” and “Jane’s New York.”
By any definition, DiPiazza has an unconventional job. “Most of the time, when I’m working you can find me dangling from the rafters performing one of my solo/duo acts with silks, aerial bartending, lyra and trapeze” she says. But the Mile Square Sideshow also taps into her skills as the founder and artistic director of Aerial Acrobat Entertainment, which provides
dazzling cirque entertainment for private and corporate events around the country. “I’ve been
fortunate to have worked with so many great circus performers over the years” she says “but
opportunities like this to put together a wide variety of great acts that people rarely see is a
“We’re really thinking of this as sort of a pilot episode” says McGarvey. “The most creative
people from all over the planet flock to this area to be a part of the energy emanating right
across the river from the most dynamic city in the world. In an age before television and the
internet, sideshows showcased exotic attractions that couldn’t be seen anywhere else. Today,
people can see an endless variety of images on their screens, but it simply can’t compare to the
actual live experience. I’d love for the Mile Square Sideshow to become a showcase to include all of the eclectic types of performers we are presenting on October 27th but also to include
short films, animation, improvisation…honestly, the possibilities are endless. I want audiences
to arrive expecting the unexpected.”
McGarvey, Dodge and DiPiazza will be joined on stage by:
• Comedian Dustin Chafin (“Crashing” (HBO), “The Chris Rock Show,” “Dennis Miller
Live,” “Chappelle’s Show,” and “Blue Collar TV.” New York Underground Comedy
Festival, the Chicago and Las Vegas comedy festivals).
• Hoboken resident, New York City storytelling/comedy mainstay—and recent recipient
of a glowing “New Yorker” profile—Adam Wade (HBO’s “GIRLS,” Comedy Central’s
“Inside Amy Schumer,” “New Yorker” winner of 20 SLAMS at The Moth).
• World-record holding contortionist Jared Rydelek (The National Geographic Channel,
Discovery Channel, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire).
• Magic Brian (Late Show with David Letterman) incorporates the old with the new—
using inspiration from circus sideshow acts and classic magic effects—while adding his
own humorous and sometimes outrageous twist to it all. He has brought his unique mix
to stages and street theater’s all over the world.
• Award-winning juggler, circus artist and magician Benjamin Lipman.
• The Donovan Ensemble has performed their hilariously condensed minutes-long
operas—mixing “La Boheme” and “Carmen” with Led Zeppelin and Taylor Swift—at
regional theaters and opera companies throughout the U.S.
• Anna Thomas-Henry is a multi-disciplinary performer who has performed in circus,
dance and musical theater all across the country. Her specialty acts include aerial fabric,
aerial net, hand balance and jump rope manipulation. She was the Silks Winner at the
2015 U.S. Aerial Championships and a finalist at the Aerial Acrobatic Arts Festival in 2015.
MILE SQUARE SIDESHOW SPECTACULAR
Mile Square Theatre,
1400 Clinton St, Hoboken, NJ
Friday, October 27, 7:30pm
$25 (adv), $30 (day of show)