The Troupe

It's the annual Shakespeare Spring Spectacular at Stratford Middle school, and the stakes are higher than ever. Egos rage and tensions rise as The Troupe tries to come together to bring the timeless tale of Romeo and Juliet to life onstage. Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video. Start your free trial. Find showtimes, watch trailers, browse photos, track your Watchlist and rate your favorite movies and TV shows on your phone or tablet! Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends.

Full Cast and Crew. Egos rage and tensions rise as The Troupe tries to come together to bring the Our Favorite Trailers of the Week. Edit Cast Credited cast: God appears, and God is light, To those poor souls who dwell in night; But does a human form display To those who dwell in realms of day. Though this book stands as unique, the fae elements, the grittiness and the characterisation reminded me ever so slightly of those books. View all 9 comments. The Troupe is a bold imaginative and gripping adventure, part magical realism, part horror, part Southern gothic.

At its heart, the novel is George's coming of age story -- George abandons his vaudeville group to join a troupe led by Heironomo "Harry" Silenus, whom he believes to be his father. Most, but not all of the characters are interesting and complex: The back story for each character revolves around the mysterious leader, Silenus. There is a song that was lost when man and Earth was created the First Song , and the mission of Silenus has been to reassemble it to save the world from dark forces. Each town they stop in becomes just a little bit better when the troupe sings this haunting song.

It is a beautifully written work of art, but I found the ending to be pretty disappointing given the talent revealed in the basic story. Then I saw it received a lot of glowing reviews from people I follow. Technically, the story is about vaudeville not circus, a related form of showbusiness that knew its greatest popularity at the turn of the 20th century, with artists touring small venues all across America, before the magic of the silver screen replaced it in popularity.

I believe Chaplin is the greatest example of a performer starting in vaudeville and moving to cinema. In line with other great tales bringing together the performing arts and the supernatural, the tale is a dark one, closer to horror than to what we now label urban fantasy. The narrative shies away from the light of the sun, moving mostly in the shadows, in the dark of winter, under a cosmic cold from which the world may never recover. Danger, death, destruction, despair lurk around every corner, with Armaggedon waiting in the stalls to make a final entrance. The-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it is one of those overused fantasy cliches that can turn me off if deployed without finesse.

The jury is still out regarding this present case, with enough positive aspects of the story to balance things out. The main narrator is George Carole, an orphaned teenager with a native talent for playing the piano, on a quest to find his runaway father on the vaudeville circuit. He comes off the page as an amalgam of ambition and insecurity, romantic yearning and muleheaded obstinacy. Mostly selfish like all youths, he compensates with a solid moral core and a streak of kindness towards the less fortunate. A cranky authocrat with a foul mouth and an inflexible focus on a mysterious private crusade, Silenus is the leader of the Troupe: Kingsley Tyburn is an elderly gentleman, a former professor who now opens the spectacle with a ventriloquist act.

The first comparison that comes to mind is Jeff Dunham and his crazy puppets, but Kingsley has a definite melancholic, even creepy tone instead of satire. Collette is the youngest member before George joins the troupe and she is an exotic dancer, introduced as a Persian Princess. Her role cannot be dismissed simply as eye-candy or love interest, she gets some powerful scenes denouncing the rampant racial discrimination of the period. Franny the strongwoman comes across as more of an animated mummy than actual human being, performing improbable feats of iron bending and safe juggling.

She will have her moment in the limelight, in a spectacular finale that has more to do with emotional overload rather than credible demonstration of strength. His temperament provides a needed counterpoint to the explosive and aggravating personality of the team manager, an oasis of calmness and common sense. As I've already mentioned, the tensions and the interplay between the members of the troupe were the highlights of the novel for me. I would have probably rated it higher, but the actual plot, while clever and very well paced, strained my suspension of disbelief beyond reasonable bounds and I often found the dialogue and the info dumps less accomplished than the imaginative powers of the author.

Ultimately, I read the story as parrable, a metaphor for life's struggles and the inevitability of death, a magic spectacle were the message is more important than the nuts and bolts behind the curtains. The prose is generally effective in delivering the message, but I cannot help wishing for the pen of a more lyrical writer, capable of making the pages really soar and sing.

The comparisons have already been made by other reviewers, and I found them all appropriate, at least in theme if not in prose: They all share a fascination for the gothic mood and for the world of show business. Bennett should be proud of such select company. Aug 21, Emma rated it liked it Shelves: Ambitious and detailed, very atmospheric and really quite strange! The pace is not slow but I found it a slow read. May 09, Bogdan rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is the second book I read from Jackson Bennett and I realize that everything this writer touches turns to gold. And what a book has been!

The black "wolf" with a conscience crisis was the best second row character I meet in a while. Jan 29, Erica rated it really liked it Recommended to Erica by: Ok, Shayne, you were right. I really liked this book.

The Troupe by Robert Jackson Bennett

Yes, there were entire passages that I could have red-penned to death because they were ridiculous and made me roll my eyes and sigh with irritation but those were few and far between. I think this is what I wanted Winter's Tale to be. Actually, I know this is what I wanted that book to be. It's a whimsical tale about the world succumbing to darkness and those who are tasked with keeping said darkness at bay.

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There's myth Ok, Shayne, you were right. There's myth, magic, and music but it's woven in as part of life, as every day sort of ocurrences even though there's no myth, magic, nor music happening outside the Troupe. Well, a little bit, but only as far as other mystical beings are concerned. Pretty much, the rest of the world seems to be unaware that this is going on around them but those who are aware think it's no big thing. I wasn't satisfied with the ending. It felt rushed and like it was put together in a dream where it all made a beatiful and deep sort of sense but that all falls apart when you wake up and really think about it.


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While that feeling meshes well with the overall story, it didn't satisfy me, the reader. Regardless, this is a fun romp through partial myth, through on-the-road performing life, through creation and the potential end thereof. I'd like to write a better review but I can't get the words out and this is going to be as good as it gets.

The Troupe

View all 3 comments. Jan 17, The Shayne-Train rated it it was amazing. This book is amazing and beautiful. A young man seeks out a traveling troupe of vaudevillians in search of his father, and discovers a world under and within the world he thought he knew. A secret history, a magic song, the story of Creation, evil monsters bent on erasing existence itself, and characters so flawed and wondrous. This is one of those books that causes "I was sad that it ended" to be an actual feeling of a passionate reader.

Do yourself a favor, and read this wonderful novel. It might This book is amazing and beautiful.

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It might change you, but whatever happens happens. View all 12 comments. Mar 09, Mia rated it it was amazing. George braved the world to search for his father Though of money or an address he had neither. But despite his youth his courage he did gather, In this mission he was determined not to falter.

Enormous skill he did, however, possess, Innate piano-playing talent was his largesse. To Vaudeville he went off to find success -- That was George's big plan, more or less. Alas, his father dear he did indeed find But he turned out quite mean rather than kind. He'd have fled at that moment if he'd had half a mind Go George braved the world to search for his father Though of money or an address he had neither.

He'd have fled at that moment if he'd had half a mind Good thing he didn't for the truth was yet to unwind. Moreover, everything was not quite so kosher; As days passed, it all just got stranger and stranger. What it was George simply couldn't quite figure, But he started suspecting it was something quite sinister. Verily much danger followed the troupe, Unceasingly hunted by a menacing group. They would need all their artifice to pull off the dupe And, should they fail, the losses they couldn't recoup. While traveling with the troupe George came into his own.

Unmindful of time, oh look how much he's grown! It mattered not the circumstances in which he was thrown -- He learned many things he might not otherwise have known. I know not how to explain the depth of this story, But to read this here book I urge you most ardently. Profound and sublime and oftentimes eerie, The watershed moments touched me quite deeply.

If you're one to crave mystery in books that you read, If you yearn to be moved, be surprised, or be queried, If to learn much about fierce, infinite love is a need -- All of these you will find in The Troupe, so proceed. Being and nothingness entangled in the notes of a melody. Could the fate of the world be decided by man's perfidy? Harmony and chaos teetering on the edge precariously, Be mindful -- what you see may change or be gone instantly. Admiration for writers who take on the awesome task of explaining the great unvarnished mystery of life runs deep in my reading soul.

Life has two departments, according to Robert Heinlein. Into the practical joke department are stuffed subdepartments, since life is a bureaucracy set up by a government we never see and that has lost the ability to pay attention to much of anything. Pain, confusion, yearning, horror, s Admiration for writers who take on the awesome task of explaining the great unvarnished mystery of life runs deep in my reading soul.

Pain, confusion, yearning, horror, sickness, old age, death. The fairy godmother department has never once sent an interoffice memorandum claiming anything, including its own existence.

But still there is life, love, pursuit of happiness, and other curiously delightful happenstance. In Jackson Bennett's book there is vaudeville, which has the opportunity for slapstick, dogs in dresses, tragic heroines, moustachioed villains, people with mysterious backgrounds whose life story changes with each telling.


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  8. The theater, the theater! All the world's a stage. Such a rich production design is possible. The author has the chance to playwright, to bend reality from the boards, keep us glued to our seats as we examine the intricacies of those two life departments, on the playbill as Good and Evil. But he doesn't stick to the script. He takes us out of the theater, passes us as we sit in our seats, wondering what the heck just happened.

    It's a little eerie to be abandoned in the middle of the book, as our guide, the author, wanders off into a netherworld that might have been terrifying, if we weren't preoccupied trying to figure out where we, the audience, fit into this story.

    THE TROUPE - Episode 2

    Apr 29, Erik rated it really liked it Shelves: I wanted to like this book more than I did. Professor Tyburn, a man of mechanism and wit, the opening act for the vaudeville troop around which this book is centered. He is a puppeteer, yet his puppets need no strings to operate. Rather, the I wanted to like this book more than I did.

    Rather, they are strangely autonomous and yearn to be freer still. As the book progresses, the Professor grows more and more haggard and complains that the puppets grow harder to control… What follows is an excellently horrific AND human story. Yet its connection to the overarching story is tenuous at best. It serves to push the protagonist somewhere it needs him to be, but otherwise lacks a sense of continuity with the surrounding elements, as if it were a puzzle piece forced by some gargantuan child into a place it does not quite fit.

    The problem, I eventually came to realize, was a lack of foreshadowing, or rather a failure to emphasize the foreshadowed elements. That is the explanation given after the climax of his story anyway, yet it feels tacked on. Furthermore, even the very first time we see him, his puppets already appear difficult to control. The meeting of the personified four winds, for example, was wonderfully imaginative. Too bad it had to be weakened by an unearned, tacked-on romance at the end. The depressed, treacherous, and ugly elves are absolutely essential to the plot and wonderfully subversive!

    Other elements are likewise patchwork too. You want to make a wish and jump off and sail away, like that crazy girl in Crouching Tiger. A Siamese-twin panther you slay with a blunderbuss. And suddenly you find yourself atop another mountain peak with a beautiful view. How did you get there?!

    An army entertainment troupe based on the Nahal troupe , perform comedy and singing acts to the Israeli soldiers in combat zones to boost morale. At the beginning of the film, three departing members of the troupe perform an old Broadway-style song. The next day, auditions, led by the director Paul Aviv Tuvia Tzafir are held for the three new members. As part of the welcome wagon, the veteran members give the new recruits the silent treatment by playing practical jokes on them.

    During a rehearsal, Leicht, the assistant musical director randomly gives Noa a solo that the troupe's prima donna member, Yaffa Smadar Brenner , initially sings. As Noa amazes everyone in the rehearsal hall, Yaffa storms out of the room. When Datner and Bazooka learn about the new recruit welcome wagon tradition, they decide to get revenge by playing practical jokes back on the veteran troupe members. On their first performance, Yaffa and the troupe's shorty male divo Doron receive electric shocks when touching wet microphones, Shuka, the drummer gets his drums destroyed, Moni, the keyboard player gets powder puffing out of his keyboard, and the audience find it to be hilarious,thinking it was part of the act.

    The next day, Doron with Moni and Shuka spread dog poop all over Datner's bus seat. When Datner sees the messy seat, he faints. The bus brings the troupe from show to show, making stops at cafes in between. Along the journey, the troupe's male lead singer Dani Sassi Kesshet and Yaffa's girlfriend, the commander Moti Doval'e Glickman both have a love for Noa, which initially causes them to feud.

    The timid Bazooka gets a crush on Dani's girlfriend, Orli Chelli Goldenberg , while Datner gives Bazooka lessons on how to develop relationships. The morning following another show, Datner and Bazooka perform another prank on the veteran members by putting themselves in harnesses in a bathroom pretending they committed suicide. As the veteran members' see the 2 members hung, they are met with horror.

    However at a certain cue, Datner and Bazooka begin to start yelling freaking everyone in the bathroom out.

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