Comedy takes flight in Beaver Creek |

Comedy takes flight in Beaver Creek

Special to the Daily

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado – The Flying Karamazov Brothers are as totally together as four guys wearing kilts can be without involving priests or attorneys.

They dance, they juggle, they sing, they juggle, they tell jokes, they juggle.

The Flying Karamazov Brothers are 100 minutes of hilarity and they’re performing at Beaver Creek’s Vilar Performing Arts Center twice Thursday. It’s part of their 4Play tour.

There are four Flying Karamazov Brothers, hence the name of their current show, “4Play.”

The Flying Karamazov Brothers aren’t really brothers and they can’t fly, at least not in a Superman or Timothy Leary kind of way.

But they do everything else in the name of entertainment.

The troupe has been around in various incarnations since about 1973.

Their show features physical and verbal humor, ranging from high brow to low brow to mono brow. It’s not complex, the way some shows depend on special effects. But its effects are special.

Their classic skit has audience members bringing items to be juggled, and people bring the darndest things.

They juggle everything from fish to flaming farm tools, and bowling pins to pizza.

They once shared a stage with Dolly Parton who challenged them to “juggle these.”

The name came from “The Brothers Karamazov,” the final book by Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky, says Paul Magid, FKB’s artistic director and founder.

“Many, many years ago when Nixon was still president and there was still a war in Vietnam, we were laying in a dirt field next to a band that had Mary Sullivan in it, who had picked us up hitchhiking. Mary Sullivan was Ed Sullivan’s neice,” Magid recalled during a phone call. Ask your parents about Ed Sullivan.

“We though this was a portentous moment,” Magid said.

It’s almost a FKB punchline to say that the group was all thumbs in those days, since hitchhiking was their preferred mode of travel.

Except they weren’t all thumbs, they were really good. Just broke.

They thought it would be fun, so they named themselves after Dostoyevsky’s dark, passionate characters, Magid said.

Of course, they couldn’t leave it alone, so they leavened it with the word “Flying,” and decided they could always change it. They didn’t. If something works, you stick with it.

“The name stuck, and that’s how it happened, thanks to Ed Sullivan,” Magid said.

Dmitri Karamazov is Paul Magid, the original Flying Karamazov Brother.

According to Magid’s bio, his writings include “Life: A Guide for the Perplexed,” and his film credits include “Vive le Screwcap.”

Pavel Karamazov is Roderick Kimball and is his own 11th cousin, once removed. He once climbed Mount Fuji wearing only a tri-cornered hat, his bio says, and he once told Frank Perdue that there are chicken that lay green eggs. His bio does not say whether or not Perdue believed him.

Alexi Karamazov is Mark Ettinger, who “… fills the peoples with joy as the potatoes fulfill the (promise of) pierogies!” the Ukrainian Gazette says of him, or that’s what he says it says about him. As a Karamazov, he has performed around the world, and conducted many of North America’s finest orchestras, while indulging his passion for composing and teaching.

Zossima Karamazov is Stephen Bent who owes his very existence to the Flying Karamazov Brothers, who were the entertainment for his parents’ first date back in 1982. At age 13 he saw the K’s for the first time and immediately set about trying to emulate them in every way. One year later he responded to an ad in the Seattle Times looking for a new Brother, but was rejected because of child labor laws. Finally, in the summer of 2008, Bent was invited to join the troupe and has been living out his adolescent dream ever since.

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