Imagine Cirque du Soleil and the Three Stooges at a pie-throwing contest with really loud rock music, and you’ll have some idea what Aga–Boom, the Theatre of Physical Comedy, is all about. The show is a mixture of circus, experimental theater, slapstick, clowning and vaudeville, all presented in the best European avant-garde tradition.

Created by Cirque du Soleil alum Dimitri Bogatirev, Aga-Boom cuts through the language barrier. Except for some Russian muttering and shrieks of delight, the Aga-Boom performers are silent throughout the show. But don’t worry, they get their message across quite well: It’s time to laugh. The troupe uses a variety of tools in their silliness, including fog, streamers, bubbles, toilet paper and water. There are also plenty of inflatable balls, confetti and huge balloons. Perfect for the entire family, Aga-Boom is a super-high energy show, a loosely controlled mayhem.

The name Aga-Boom is a play on the Russian word for paper, boomaga. And there is plenty of paper in Aga-Boom. Boom — a sort of muddleheaded everywoman clown with a patch of white hair sitting straight up on her head — starts off the show. All she wants to do is clean up the littered stage, but the more she works, the more paper seems to accumulate, until she’s standing ankle deep in it. Then she sees a huge red button that reads “Do Not Touch.” Of course, she can’t help herself. She touches it and all hell breaks loose. Buzzers go off, red lights start to flash. She’s caught. What follows is a comedic string of dancing, clown bits, juggling, contortion tricks and general zaniness.

There’s plenty of audience participation in Aga-Boom. Someone’s asked to hold a mop – or is it a baby? Someone else is pulled out of the audience to re-enact the climax of a silent film shoot-out. And then there’s all that paper to clean up. It keeps mounting up throughout the show until it finally engulfs the audience, too. By the end, the performers are shooting it out of cannons at the audience, and the audience is throwing it right back at them in a free-for-all riot. Fair warning: Neat freaks should stay away. 1 and 7 p.m. daily. Through August 10. Moody Gardens, One Hope Boulevard. For information, call 800-582-4673 or visit $9 to $25.
Aug. 2-10, 2008

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Olivia Flores Alvarez