IndyFringe: Clown Bar

By John Lyle Belden

The first rule of Clown Bar is that there are no rules — except for The Rules.

This contradiction is emblematic of the juxtaposition of the dark shades of film noir and garish colors of the clown world presented in this comedy-thriller.

Some aspects were more hard-edged than I had expected: for instance, these characters play for keeps when the funny pop-guns come out (but then, the plot is driven by a clown-turned-cop investigating the murder of his brother, a clown in trouble). Also, it’s not clear what drugs are running rampant in the clown underground to “make them funny,” but it seems to be hard narcotics rather than a silly in-world drug like balloon helium or pixie stix.

The overall result is still entertaining and amusing, and the answer of who the killer is wasn’t too easy to guess, so it works as a whodunit as well as a comedy.

Funhouse Productions encourages all to wear their clown or gangster best to the remaining performances, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 27-28. Info and tickets at