My Life In The Basement, an one-act play by John 'Circ' Kane
You know dreaming of someday joining the circus. Seeing what the Big Top was all about.
For John ‘Circ’ Kane his dreams became a reality – he just kind of went about it a different way.
Circ, as everybody knows him around South Buffalo, used to spend his time in his basement when he was a child – dreaming one day of joining the circus.
“I wanted to join the circus since I was 8 years old,” said John Kane. “The nickname, Circ, I have had since I was 8 years old. So, I think there was pressure coming out of Timon that even if I didn’t want to join the circus I had too.”
His life as a child was different – but in a good way. And he will let everybody in on that life when he puts on his one-act comedy show entitled My Life In The Basement for three nights Friday, June 1 through Sunday, June 3 at The Blackthorn Restaurant & Pub, 2134 Seneca Street, South Buffalo.
“As a child I had a park in front of me and a playground behind me and I spent all my time in the basement. My parents were very concerned,” said Kane with a laugh during a recent interview. “We have a kid hanging out in the basement with no friends, we have to get him some friends. And that is what the play is all about. There (my parents) attempts to get me to be normal.”
As a little boy, Kane’s shows where a hit – well with the stuffed animals and everything else that was in the basement.
In the beginning his shows didn’t catch on as he played to an empty room.
“I would do these shows to nobody in the basement,” he said. “My father was like why don’t you invite kinds in to see these shows. So that became an entire other thing where I was dressed up in my costume and nobody would show up.”
Sometimes during a one-act play, the actor will dress up in many different costumes to give different effects of their lives.
Not with My Life In The Basement.
Circ does the entire show sitting on an elephant tub telling his hilarious life story in front of a standing room only crowd at the Blackthorn.
“My entire life has been costumes and spectacle and over the top,” Kane explained. “So, I said, what if I don’t put anything on stage. What if I just sit on an elephant tub. So, when they come in, it’s the only thing on the stage with a spot light on it. The circus music comes on and the lights go down and then when the lights come back up I am sitting on it and for the next hour and 15 minutes I am just telling stories on it.”
Obviously, Circ’s Life In The Basement wouldn’t be complete with out the help of his family.
As he tells his stories of childhood to grown man, there are stories in there about his parents and the rest of his siblings.
One would think that family members would get upset hearing stories be told about them in a public forum, but Circ says his family laughs the loudest.
“My sister says it has been 50 years in the making,” he said. “We have a very supportive family. Mom and dad were very supportive. They were like ok if that’s what you want to do. I went from the weirdo brother to the interesting uncle. Here in the show they laugh the hardest, especially when I talk about them.”
The show has received raved reviews since Circ has been putting it on. And he has played to sold out venues in the area.
Mike Randall, who does his own one act show for Mark Twain, said My Life In The Basement is funny, touching and wildly entertaining.
People who come to the shows at the Blackthorn make a nigh of it as it has become dinner theatre. If a show starts at 9:15 p.m., people will make reservations for dinner and hang out at the bar – making a great overall experience.
“I love doing it here, because there is almost a security about it. I know the show is going to work here,” Circ explained. “They are very supportive here.”
The final shows of My Life In The Basement will be 9:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 1 and 2 and 7:15 p.m. Sunday, June 3.
Tickets are $20 and may be purchased at the Blackthorn, 2134 Seneca Street, South Buffalo.
You’ve heard about it, now see it for yourself.