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Mud Bay Jugglers to perform at Memorial Center

by Western News
| November 9, 2009 11:00 PM

Entertaining with a blend of juggling, physical comedy, dance and music, the Mud Bay Jugglers will take the Memorial Center stage on Friday as part of a membership benefit.

According to the group’s website:

“Born of earth and water 20-some years ago, the Mud Bay Jugglers evolved into an organized body of arms, legs and hands; a multi-headed being that was guided by the natural belief in egalitarian leadership. This shows up on stage as their cooperative style of direction plays out in their amazing, non-verbal, choreographed performances.”

The one-hour show is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

Backed by the Tune Stranglers, the group performs complexities of concentration and coordination for a dazzling evening of entertainment.

“Even after 20 years, our best times are when the clubs just float in the air and we're not thinking about anything but the fun we're having with the people around us,” troupe member Alan Fitzthum said.

The group’s roots date back to 1980 when Doug Martin and Mark Jensen started juggling on the street. Fitzthum and Tom Gorski soon added their own brands of goofiness to the troupe.

In 1982, the Mud Bay Jugglers first performed as a foursome to the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 by Franz Liszt at a benefit for the Nisqually Delta Association.

In the mid 1980s, the Jugglers toured the Northwest and the show evolved into a production with members no longer speaking with choreography coming into the forefront. The show featured dance movements inspired by the beat of drums.

In the early ’90s, the Mud Bay Jugglers stopped touring to focus on theater shows, performing more in-depth and nuanced sequences better appreciated in theaters than in distracting outdoor venues.

Harry Levine moved from troupe drummer to stage manager, and, finally, into the act. Jensen retired to pursue a career in clinical psychology. The Jugglers worked with Pat Graney and other Northwest dancers in developing the movement aspect of their work.

Since 1997, the Jugglers have immersed themselves in performing to recorded music. Group members said they are timing everything, counting just as dancers do, integrating musical changes and using the comedy of the music to emphasize their expressions and gesticulations. The group also decided at the time to start touring again.


Adult - $10 early, $15 at the door

Youth - $5 early, $8 at the door

6 and under free with donation to Libby Food Pantry