Wife-and-husband comedy team Air Play — aka Christina Gelsone and Seth Bloom — have performed together in more than 40 countries. They met at a circus in Afghanistan, became engaged while street performing in Scotland and married in China.
Here are their six picks for places with the "most" ...
Most Beautiful Theatre: Braga, Portugal
Performing at Theatro Circo last year, we walked blindly into a Baroque wonderland of red velvet chairs and curtains, naked golden cherubs, and tiny private viewing boxes layered beneath an ornate dome. Sprinkled about the building were leftover theatre relics: ship masts used to support the roof, sailing rope and sand bags for hoisted sets, and an ancient curtain with glass peepholes. As we tested our flying sculptures, the massive crystal chandelier started to spin, so we quickly rearranged our 22 fans to avoid imminent disaster.
Most Obscure: Frutillar, Chile
Invercargill should easily win as our most obscure, but alas, it's too big a town and too easy to visit compared to the edge of Patagonia. One thousand kilometres from the nearest big city, we performed Air Play in a remote opera house built on a lake surrounded by four active volcanoes in southern Chile. In the land of fire and wind, Air Play felt like a breathing poem. When we are sleeping, Frutillar and her volcanoes still whisper to us.
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Most Dangerous: Cairo, Egypt
The most dangerous place we have survived was crossing the street in Cairo. (Most assume we would say Afghanistan, where we met, but more on that later.) With no traffic lights or crossing in sight, we dodged six lanes of fast vehicles with only our mortality and an ever-decreasing desire to see the Nile up close. The river was muddy but the sun behind the pyramids was breathtaking.
Most Confusing: Huangguoshu, China
We were performing in a small village famous for having the largest waterfall in Asia and sharing the stage with lions, tigers, bears, and monkeys. One night after work, we ate at an amazing outdoor restaurant set up on the roadside. We tried to pay but the owners refused us. The next night we returned with our friends, but there was no sign of the restaurant. Everything was gone — the tables, the kitchen, the tent — all missing without a trace. Turns out we had crashed a wedding.
Most Edible: Chuncheon, South Korea
Chuncheon is close to the notorious DMZ, but, for us, the memories are mouthwatering. Fresh buckwheat noodles in iced cucumber soup. Mac'n cheese with bubbling four-year-old kimchi. Pine needle soda. Long sticky noodles with no beginning or end sheared with scissors and slathered in burn-your-ears pepper paste. Bar snacks of tiny dried fish. Our stomachs are begging us to go back.
Most Friendly: Kabul, Afghanistan
We learned how to be good hosts from Afghans. It's three cups of tea, not a rushed "do you want some water?" Afghans hug you close, hands warming your face and kissing your cheek, and always send you home with gifts. Plus, Afghans know things. When Christina first visited the circus school, the doorkeeper announced, "Seth, your future wife is here!" We laughed; we were dating other people. Two years later, we returned — on our honeymoon.
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