Merrimack Repertory Theatre Blog



The Flying Karamazov Brothers

The Flying Karamazov Brothers

Music, dance, laughter and juggling combine in the world premiere of Flings & Eros, a new vaudevillian romp by the internationally renowned Flying Karamazov Brothers at Merrimack Repertory Theatre; stage direction by Paul Magid.  Performances begin Thursday, September 10 at 7:30PM, with Opening Night on Sunday, September 13 at 7PM, running through October 4.  Subscriptions and individual tickets are on sale now.


The new show takes audiences backstage with the Flying Karamazov Brothers as they rehearse scenes from their reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.  With the four Karamazov Brothers playing all the parts, audiences will experience a Romeo and Juliet like they’ve never seen before, complete with original music, combat juggling and antic dancing.  Of course, nothing during their rehearsal goes quite as expected, and the Brothers take time in between scenes to muse on their own loves, both past and present.  The youngest Karamazov Brother, Zossima, has a new girlfriend whose mysterious past is revealed as the K’s work their way through Shakespeare’s classic scenes.

The Obie Award-winning Flying Karamazov Brothers were founded in 1973 in California, taking their names from characters in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.  In the past 35 years, the group has performed on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in theatres across the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.  Their adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors was aired on PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center, and the group appeared in the Michael Douglas film The Jewel of the Nile and was featured on an episode of Seinfeld in 1996.


Merrimack Repertory Theatre and The Flying Karamazov Brothers began conversations about creating the new theatrical piece in February 2008.  After the development of the initial concept, the Brothers spent a few weeks in July completing the script and developing the new juggling routines and skills that will be premiered in September.  The troupe will spend a week rehearsing in New Hampshire before their residency begins in Lowell on August 17.


The production’s creative staff includes Paul Magid (writer/producer/director), Arthur Oliver (costume design), Douglas Elkins (choreography) and David Hutson (lighting design), with music by Mark Ettinger, Stephen Bent and Rod Kimball and lyrics by Paul Magid, Mark Ettinger, Stephen Bent and William Shakespeare.  The Flying Karamazov Brothers are Paul Magid (Dmitri), Mark Ettinger (Alexei), Rod Kimball (Pavel) and Stephen Bent (Zossima).


The Flying K's in Verona

The Flying K's in Verona

Paul Magid is a founding member of the Flying Karamazov Brothers and the last original member still performing with the group.  Mark Ettinger joined the group in 1998, bringing his skills as a juggler, singer, songwriter and instrumentalist.  He received his Masters in Composition and Conducting from Mannes College of Music.  Rod Kimball is the group’s master juggler, and has been performing and teaching juggling since 1991.  Kimball is a native of New England, having grown up in northern Maine, and got his start as a juggler in Portland.  Stephen Bent is the youngest of the brothers, and the newest addition to the group, having joined in the summer of 2008.  Legend has it that his parents’ first date was a Flying Karamazov Brothers show at the Oscar Mayer Theatre in Madison, Wisconsin in 1982.  He attended his first show at the age of 13, and since then has strived to join the group to which he owes his very existence.   

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