Photo by Charlie Kawamura/Courtesy of Infinity Live Productions
Fringe review: 'Miss Hiccup'
By Stephanie Merry
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Fringe-goers heading to “A Day in the Life of Miss Hiccup” are met with a spare stage with a few props -- a plaid suitcase, a roll of toilet paper and a disconnected telephone receiver, among other items -- and the sounds of lively French music. The soundtrack seems particularly apt, as clowning star Hiromi Yano calls to mind the nearly wordless yet curiously captivating features of Gallic filmmaker Sylvain Chomet (“The Illusionist,” “The Triplets of Bellville”).
Miss H arrives onstage looking endearingly bonkers -- her white-painted face sports a pair of large, circular frames, and her head blooms a lush bouquet of vibrant flowers. Given her persistent case of hiccups, talking is out of the question, so she gets down to the business of living without speaking. She can, however, sing and sputter one-syllable incantations. Portions of her day seem familiar. She does her morning calisthenics, brushes her teeth and even uses the loo. She also plays catch with her own eyeball, combats a leaky ceiling with tiny musical umbrellas and rocks her foot to sleep.
In other words, this is one wacky clown show. And while some episodes are more successful than others, there is a kind of existential twist that transforms the performance from an occasionally engaging oddity into something more thoughtful. When it comes to Fringe, not to mention pantomime, that’s no small thing.