The Great Kansas City Circus Show, or better known as the Juggling Festival, performed at the Rose Theater this past Saturday. The festival brings many different jugglers from all over Kansas City, and even the nation, with different skill levels and talents.
The performance was run under the Master of Ceremonies, Coy Espinoza, better known as Crazy Boy Coy. Coy is a master at different balancing acts using only a ladder and was very impressing to the audience with his comedic acts.
The show opened with Rockhurst’s very own Juggling Club. The theme for this year’s routine was sports. Senior Sam Keitges led the act as the “coach” of a tryout, and the athletes had to impress him with their juggling talents. The other club members were dressed in various popular sports jerseys and did a small routine incorporated with the jerseys they were wearing. Junior Carter Lange did a hockey balancing act that impressed the crowd in a Chicago Blackhawks jersey. Lange balanced a hockey stick on his chin with other acts such as jump roping on a balancing board called the rolla bolla.
“My favorite part about being in the show was when the crowd erupted as I landed my tricks. The claps felt like thunder on stage and it was nice to earn the respect of my fellow performers.” Lange said. The whole club came out on stage to close the routine with each juggler passing around a ball and doing a trick with it. The ball was then given to coach Sam and he threw it across stage toward club moderator, Mr. Owsley. He caught the ball and dunked it into a miniature basketball hoop to close the act
The next act to walk on the stage is known as Juggling Josh Horton. His act showed off all of his skills with his Juggling rings and his perfect technique. Josh appeared two other times and his final act was definitely comedic. He came out and tried to break the world record of most marshmallows thrown into your mouth in one minute. Josh sadly got thirty-one and the standing record is thirty-six. The crowd was still very amused and cheered him on the whole time.
Another act was a completely shocking sight to the audience. Four women around the age of seventy appeared on stage known as the 4’s Company. This barber shop quartet is part of Region 5 of Sweet Adeline’s International which is a highly respected organization of women singers committed to advancing the musical art form of barbershop harmony. The women sang many comedic songs in perfect harmony about amusing things such as the grocery store, getting old is no fun, and a song about all the things they would do if they were men. The audience could not contain laughter at the hilarious musical number and cheered them on the whole time.
Juggling is already a very interesting sport but when the whole Rose theater is filled with them, it can get a little rowdy. The crowd does not follow the traditional etiquette for an audience. People are laughing and clapping along to the music in the background while performances are going on. “The crowd was the best I had ever been in and the best I have ever performed in. Since these were fellow performers they knew how hard these acts were and were very supportive. Occasionally you would hear a shout from the crowd. It was very informal and that’s what made it fun.” Lange said.
One thing that the Kansas City juggling festival tries to show is how unique and universal juggling is. Juggling is not only limited to juggling but also has many other forms of talents incorporated into it. Four time yo-yo world champion Joseph Harris also performed at the festival. He was nothing but impressive to the audience as he got the loudest cheers when his act was over, along with a standing ovation. The act was a great finish to the show before all of the performers came out on stage for their final bow and the curtain closed.