Circus Contraption’s The SHOW to End All SHOWS

I have to admit, those white-faced circus freaks were always a little scary. Word among the carnies was that the troupe at Circus Contraption was particularly macabre. But the 13-performer, self-producing traveling circus is lightening up in their latest all-new jaw-dropper under the big, uh, warehouse roof. The SHOW to End All SHOWS (through June 22) will feature the standard fare of the one-ring circus—aerialists, acrobalancers, jugglers, and other oddities abound. Yet the performance will follow a loose, overarching plot (something about the collapse of the show/the end of the world), proving these clowns can be more theatrical than the spraying-water-from-plastic-flowers sort. Indeed, they’re so multitalented many of them take turns playing in the Circus Contraption band, accompanying the weirdness with all-original music. In its 10th year, CC will also feature yet another first in this show (drumroll, spotlight please): They’ve brought in a professional scenic designer (Jennifer Zeyl) and costume designer (Christine Tschirgi). Now that whiteface should really creep you out. That is, until you’re doubled over laughing. Theo Chocolates, 3400 Phinney Ave. N, 442-2004, $20–$25. Opens tonight. 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., 7 p.m. Sun. JOSHUA LYNCH

Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: May 16. Continues through June 22, 2008