Mutaytors Multi-Media Circus (3 stars)—Empire Ballroom, November 29

Rachel Heisler

The show was at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, and I, being the incredibly lucky person I am, got a migraine around noon. The last place I wanted to be was at a show comprising a drum troupe with lots of crazy-ass lights. But what can you do, the show—and the reviewer—must go on.

The Mutaytors turned out to be a small but loud family of free-spirited individuals. More than a dozen male drummers sporting 100 drums, complete with full kits and lots of bells and whistles, covered a majority of the stage, while a drummer or two took the liberty of bringing the rhythms within inches of the crowd on the dance floor. Though there were hints of tribal- and funk-style drum work throughout the show, the focus was on high-energy dance music, and beats were set to electronic music by a computerized DJ. Male and female eye candy quickly took center stage, and the variety-show aspect came into full view.

A scantily-clad belly dancer, a few fire-throwers (who had to work with glow sticks instead of real flames because of the enclosed surroundings) and a hula-hoop expert were smooth and well-choreographed, but couldn't hold a candle—even a lit one—to the colorful Chinese dragon that kept making appearances throughout the 45-minute performance. Producers also worked in a sword-balancing act, partnered fire tricks and umbrella-twirling, but the overall otherworldly feel of the group as a whole held it all together. The fact that each performer had their own style, whether it was sporting a mohawk, dreads, Day-Glo colors or retro garb, made it a full-on sensory overload experience.

The Mutaytors sell themselves as a troupe that fits somewhere in between the Blue Man Group and Stomp, but with more of a trippy, jam-band-without-the-jam-band vibe. It certainly would be a better, more free-spirited and interactive show at a venue such as Coachella, Burning Man or Lollapalooza, somewhere outside in the sunshine, where you could down a handful of 'shrooms a half-hour before show time, and dance and spin without a care in the world.

  • Get More Stories from Thu, Dec 1, 2005
Top of Story