First produced in 2005 at the Storefront Theater in Chicago
Looking for a stable place to play this show every Christmas season, we found a home in Naperville. Although it proved too hard to get folks out to Naperville to see the show, we did enjoy those runs. Perhaps the most memorable single event was when Jeff Trainor, who was helping us make the show, had to enter the stage in an elf hat and let the audience know that they should leave the theatre in an orderly way because there was a fire. The fire was in another part of the theater, and so the audience took some time to understand that there was an actual fire and they should actually leave. When the performers came outside into the snow (a shit-ton of it) most of the audience was waiting for us in their coats and just expected us to continue the show outside. It was a testament to how improvisational and ad-hoc the show felt from the audience. Without the musicians / musical instruments, lights and rigging we couldn’t do that show. So we invited everyone to a nearby bar.
The amount of fun to be had can only be measured in tons.
- Time Out
- "Fearless, fresh and funny. This is a non-traditional holiday show that deserves to become the next big Chicago holiday tradition… With music and lyrics by composer-lyricist John Fournier (who also conducts the band), a trio of performers brings in the right amount of energy, audacity, agility and laugh-out-loud comedy. They sing holiday-themed punk and pop rock songs while climbing, jumping and swinging from various areas of the theater. It’s the kind of evening where it’s impossible to remain a passive audience member. All the world truly is a clown’s stage, and spectators are as much a part of the show as the clowns."
- Chicago Sun Times
- "A delightful and dark piece...Precision and wit...A perfect antidote to holiday overload"
- "Unless your inner Scrooge is more highly developed than most, prepare to to be thoroughly charmed and amused by 500 Clown’s infectious and anarchic take on Christmas...For an hour and change 500 Clown offers a vision of the utopia that holidays almost never really live up to. My only real complaint was that it all ended a little too soon."
- New City