FORT WORTH–Acrobats, dancers, magicians, jugglers, Yo-Yo stunt couples and spoof artists hit the streets in MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival (MAIN ST.) April 8-11, and it’s all in a day’s work for performers who represent some of the world’s most remarkable occupations.
MAIN ST. has amused and amazed guests for a quarter century, and entertainers at its 25th annual show carry on that tradition with performances ranging from Chinese acrobatics rooted in centuries of tradition to shows that raise the mundane to art forms
ACROBATS OF HEBEI CHINA
As much athletes as entertainers, the Acrobats of Hebei China trained from childhood to perform Chinese acrobatics under the direction of Hou Chunyan, whose credits include work with Cirque du Soliel. Chinese acrobatics have been handed down like traditions, and acrobats’ vivid costumes and authentic props add a touch of theater to their amazing, athletic art form. Highlights include Chinese Poles, a highly technical acrobatic number described in drawings dating back more than 1,000 years, Martial Arts and the comical Chinese Lion performance.
El Gleno, the alter ego of Glenn Singer, returns to MAIN ST. with his street-theater spoof of a circus equestrian act. Sight gags, optical illusions and a MAIN ST. essential–audience participation—are all part of Singer’s act, which has taken El Gleno to every continent except Antarctica and engagements at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Universal Studios in Hollywood, major international festival and “Ed’s Big Top in Hurricane,” according to Singer’s website.
Pete Geist, a.k.a. the Wacky Waiter, combines magic, pantomime, juggling and physical comedy to rave reviews. Modeled on the antics of European clowns, who rely more on physical comedy than their costumed American counterparts, Geist’s one-man show has won praise even from critic Leonard Maltin and appeals to all ages. “Kids like this stuff because it’s silly. It’s visual. They can listen with their eyes instead of their ears,” Geist said. “But this is not just a ‘kiddie show,’ this show is for everyone.”
George “Ghici” Draghici makes painting performance art in his live shows, in which the Romanian-born artist creates onstage accompanied by music. Ghici has captured the moment on canvas at festivals, conferences, even weddings coast to coast and will have designs on MAIN ST. Saturday, April 10 at the Performing Arts Stage.
Lucky Bob returns for another crowd-pleasing engagement at MAIN ST., part of a busy schedule of more than 500 shows a year for this professional juggler, magician and funny man. Kids often share the limelight with Lucky Bob, who makes audience members stars of the show that has taken him places across North America and overseas.
ROBERT FROEHNER MUSICAL SAW
He had lessons in piano, organ, clarinet, and bassoon, but North Texas virtuosoRobert Froehner is self-taught on the instrument that made him a featured performer with symphony orchestras: the Craftsman saw. Froehner’s musical saws range from a 16-inch “piccolo saw” to a 36-inch “bass saw,” all hardware-store models ordinary except for the sound Froehner coaxes from them. Wikipedia describes the musical saw sound as “an ethereal tone, very similar to the thereminor a woman’s clear voice.”
Work is play for John and Rebecca Higby, the husband and wife who are the Yo-Yo People. John took up the yo-yo at age 10 and turned pro in his teen years, ultimately performing yo-yo feats in festivals and for U.S. troops abroad. His talent scored Higby a job running yo-yo contests for a toymaker and led to love with funny lady Rebecca. The happy couple announced their engagement on “Letterman” and has competed on “America’s Got Talent.” In 2008, John earned the official Guinness World Records for the fastest time to knock a coin off the ear of 15 participants with a yo-yo (1 minute, 50 seconds). Preview the Yo-Yo People’s world-class act with video of the show that delighted crowds at Disney World in Orlando.
MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival celebrates its 25th year April 8-11 with a celebration of fine arts and crafts, music, film and food a mile long, one stretching from the Tarrant County Courthouse to the Fort Worth Convention Center.
More than 200 juried artists and fine crafts exhibitors will line brick-paved Main Street, joined by musicians and dancers on three stages. Performance artists and food and drink vendors complete the scene.
The festival is among the most honored shows in its class. MAIN ST. is ranked among the top shows nationwide in Art Fair SourceBook, the bible of the art show world, and was chosen one of the American Bus Association’s Top 100 Events in North America for group travel in 2010.MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival is presented by Coors Light and produced by Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives, Inc. Festival hours will be 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, April 8; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 9-10; and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, April 11, 2010. Admission is free to the public. For more information, visitwww.mainstreetartsfest.org.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Media should contact Diane Wolfe at metro 817-577-1779 [email protected]
For public information, visit MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival online, and get all the news from MAIN ST. as a Facebook festival fan at www.facebook.com/mainstreetartsfest.