[ATTENDED: April 1, 2012] The Gizmo Guys
Our friends were going to see the Gizmo Guys, so we bought (surprisingly cheap) tickets and went to the same show as them. I was under the impression that the Gizmo Guys were kind of science-tellers–doing “magic” with sciencey things. Well, that was utterly wrong.
The Gizmo Guys are jugglers. That’s it. Well, they are comedians AND jugglers and they are very funny and very talented. But there’s no science and, I have to say, very few gizmos.
The show opened with some jokes. But these were jokes from the kids in the audience. And our brave friend’s 7 year-old went on stage and told a joke! (while Clark cowered so he wouldn’t be chosen). The joke section was cute and served as a nice warmup.
Then the Guys started their act. They juggle all manner of things–balls, clubs, hats–and their selling point is that they do a lot of juggling back and forth to each other with twists in the standard juggling routine. For instance at one point while juggling 6 pins, the one Guy was juggling 5 while throwing just one to the other Guy who was doing a comedy bit about the hard work of the act. I was amazed at the way the Guy with one pin was keeping time with his hands while not actually catching them–good teamwork.
Although speaking of seamless, there were a number of drops in the show. And I found that kind of fun. It showed that what they were doing was real juggling–that even after 20+ years in the business, it was still a challenge for them.
An unexpected treat was the routine they did with blocks. Not juggling, but simultaneously stacking and unstacking the blocks, loudly and in a rhythmic pattern. It was mesmerizing.
I also enjoyed the mouth-juggling of five ping-pong balls. He lobbed them in the air by “spitting” them high and catching them back in his mouth. They also did the bouncing eight balls on the floor inverted juggling that we’ve seen at The Peking Acrobats and The Big Apple Circus. Although the Peking Acrobats have spoiled us for just about any kind of performance, the Gizmo Guys did a great job with this trick as well–as they switched off between Guys while keeping the rhythm going.
They pulled some more audience members on stage–a girl to help with the pins that they (intentionally) dropped. And a man who they gave a straw (no doubt at one time a cigarette) to put in his mouth. They were able to knock it out of his mouth while passing pins around him. There was an amusing interlude where they put a blindfold on him and then snuck out to kiss his wife–it was very vaudeville.
And yes, it was a very kid friendly show–mildly racy jokes (that went over the kids’ heads), and, perhaps most unexpectedly, a Nixon joke (ping-pong balls in his cheeks)–but nothing dangerous or scary. They were not like The Passing Zone (a show I really wish we could go to, but we’ll be away), but they were a great introduction to comedy juggling and were absolutely wonderful with the kids. The kids enjoyed the show, although truth be told, they were both up pretty late the night before and were rather sleepy for the performance. It’s not a high excitement level as some of the other shows we’ve seen. But mom and dad really liked it.
And the kids were thrilled that we hung out a few minutes later than everyone else, because one of the Guys called them to the sarge and gave them the glow sticks that they use in one of the skits. Cool!