Wonderbolt opens to roaring approval

Gordon Jones
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Wonderbolt Circus has this year transformed itself into the Wonderbolt Jazz Club, backed by classily evocative and compelling musical through-line provided by four musicians on keyboard, trumpet, percussion, and bass/guitar, led by composer and musical director George Morgan.

Up front is compere Beni Malone, on and off stilts, enthusiastically introducing performers and winding up the audience - if sometimes overwhelming his microphone with excess volume.

Beni Malone is the ringmaster extraordinaire in the Wonderbolt Circus. The show opened Wednesday night at St. Bons gymnasium. It runs until July 29. Submitted photo

Wonderbolt Circus has this year transformed itself into the Wonderbolt Jazz Club, backed by classily evocative and compelling musical through-line provided by four musicians on keyboard, trumpet, percussion, and bass/guitar, led by composer and musical director George Morgan.

Up front is compere Beni Malone, on and off stilts, enthusiastically introducing performers and winding up the audience - if sometimes overwhelming his microphone with excess volume.

Kyoko Uchida performs a sensuous and balletic aerial routine using two panels of red silk. There follows a vibrant diabolo artiste (Kat Finck) - a really sassy performer.

A skilled unicyclist (Dave Cox) works through the audience and around the stage.

A police raid of the jazz-age nightclub results in an ingenious keystone cops chase, up and down, round and about.

Two, then three, then four Indian club artists keep as many as a dozen clubs in the air, with the serious work being diversified by a comic routine.

The second act starts with an expert demonstration of slackwire artistry by Louis Kammerer, balancing a walking stick on chin or bouncing it off the wire, while walking back and forth, rocking from side to side, and hand-standing.

Allison Cox provides whirling exotic dancing with an increasing number of hoops, while Kat Finck and Kyoko Uchida offer an exercise in pair acrobatics that fuses elegance and strength.

The climax of the show is a troupe spectacle of exciting juggling, tumbling and dancing with fire.

On opening night, a big, eager, and responsive family audience roared its approval of the energetic and flamboyant show.

Beni Malone's grand old Wonderbolt Circus continues in the newly configured space of the St. Bon's gymnasium until July 29, starting at 7:30 p.m.

With one 15-minute intermission, it runs for a rip-roaring 90 minutes.

Organizations: Wonderbolt Jazz Club

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