Big Top Broadway comes to SaddleBrooke's Desert View Performing Arts Center February 27
Broadway Music Mixes with Modern Circus Acrobatics and Aerial Feats
TUCSON, AZ – What happens when you combine the music of Broadway with the finesse of circus artists? Audiences will find out the answer when Big Top Broadway plays at the Desert View Performing Arts Center on Saturday, February 27. Show times are 3:00pm and 7:30pm.
The show highlights well-known Broadway show tunes as well as some little-known gems and augments them with interpretations by aerialists, acrobats, jugglers, and contortionists. A live band, led by show co-creator Khris Dodge, will accompany the performers. It's a show where the stars will literally be swinging from the rafters.
Ringmaster and co-creator Stuart Moulton has spent more than 20 years as a dancer, actor, and singer, and added circus artist to his repertoire about a decade ago. He first took to the air at Trapeze Austin in Texas, and then went to work at New York's Circus Warehouse about four years ago. He also teaches at the Omega Institute's summer program, where he specializes in trapezing.
"Circus arts have evolved and are used in every aspect of entertainment these days," says Moulton. "In the New York theatre community, circus artist are being used and incorporated into shows more and more. Because of the popularity of Cirque du Soleil, shows are being reinvented and utilizing aerialists, jugglers, and other specialty acts. I'm excited to collaborate with Khris and bring this original idea to fruition. I'm excited to combine the vocal powerhouses we have with the talents of the circus artists – it is going to be phenomenal."
What can audiences expect to see and hear during Big Top Broadway? A lot. Lincoln Center performing artist Grace Wall will offer her renditions of hits such as "Don't Cry Out Loud" and "Defying Gravity" while Julie Krygsman performs aerial work on silks or the lyra (steel hoop) above her. At another point, Stuart will offer a bit of his own "Razzle Dazzle" while troupe members bring a three-ring circus to the stage. Add in a bit of contortionist Jonathan Nosan's amazing feats, and audiences will leave with a feeling that they've witnessed something special.
"Tucson is a community that embraces the arts, and we set out to provide something that audiences have never seen before," says Dodge. "It was important to me to showcase local performers, and we're thrilled to collaborate with Tucson-based Cirque Roots. They add just the right touch to the show…and we might even have a few surprises up our sleeves."
No stranger to the Tucson stage, Stuart has performed extensively with both Southern Arizona Light Opera Company and Invisible Theater. From Tucson, Stuart moved to Austin, Texas where he founded the Austin Cabaret Theatre. He now resides in New York and works at Circus Warehouse, in addition to his many other projects.
Stuart's producing and performing resume is a "who's who" of Broadway and show biz fame. A very short list includes: Carol Channing, Eartha Kitt, Ann Hampton Callaway, Charo, Lucie Arnaz, Patrick Page, Faith Prince, Paige Davis, and Elaine Stritch (just to name-drop a few). For many of them, namely Carol Channing and Eartha Kitt, he wrote special material. On the performing side, his favorite roles include Will Parker in Oklahoma!, Sandy in Paint Your Wagon, Bobby in A Chorus Line, and Hannah, Odette, and Dermah in La Cage aux Folles (three separate productions – although there is no doubt that he could play all three roles at once and do a killer job at it). Stuart has also written and starred in his own shows: Whatever Happened to Tina Louise?, I Don't Mean Rhinestones…A Tribute to Carol Channing, Just Go to the Movies, and Life Upon the Wicked Stage, among others.
His talents don't stop there. Stuart has directed and choreographed classics such as Bye Bye Birdie, Forever Plaid, Cabaret, Pageant, Peter Pan, and many more.
These days, Stuart can be found soaring high overhead at New York's acclaimed Circus Warehouse, where he coaches professional trapeze.
Grace Wall got her start in Los Angeles when she was critically praised for her work in the new musical Gulls at Theatre @ Boston Court in Pasadena which earned her an LA Weekly Award for best supporting actress. She has been seen across country from the stage of the Hollywood Bowl (Guys and Dolls) to Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame LAB in NYC.
She was most recently featured as a soloist for Lincoln Center's prestigious American Songbook Series. She is happy to be performing again in Arizona with the fabulous Khris Dodge, having done best of Broadway with him last winter. When she returns home to NYC she will be continuing her work on the reading of a new musical "Capone" starring academy award nominated Danny Aiello. She is a UCLA and LACHSA alumni and winner of YoungArts, formerly know as NFAA.
International singer, dancer, actor, and former Tucsonan Walter Belcher will be contributing his considerable talent to Big Top Broadway. Having most recent starred as Billy Flinn in Phoenix Theatre's Chicago, he is a fixture on the Phoenix theatre scene.
Walter toured with the internationally acclaimed group Up with People for five years and continues to work with cast members at their summer program in the scenic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. He has performed at regional theaters and concert halls worldwide. Some of Walter's most memorable performances include: his solo performance at Radio City Music Hall, entertaining such greats as Pope John Paul II, former President Bill Clinton, and Captain Eugene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon.
Walter continues to tour Europe and the U.S., performing toe-tapping jazz and soul-stirring gospel. He is always grateful and honored to be given any chance to make the arts a part of his life.
Nick is a fixture to Tucson audiences, and is making quite a name for himself nationally and internationally. From cabarets to cruise ships, he's everywhere!
Most recently, Nick has been featured in December '63: The Original Jersey Boys and Teen Idols with TAD Management. His most recent stage credits include Forever Plaid (Jinx) and Annie Get Your Gun (Tommy), and 2015 marked his New York City cabaret debut at 54 Below.
Jonathan is a versatile performer whose skills in contortion, aerial, stilt dancing, unicycle, fire eating, and more have been seen on stage and screen around the world. He has trained at some of the world's premier facilities, including San Francisco School of Circus Arts and Ecole Phillipe Gaulier in London. Jonathan has been seen on screen in films such as Big Fish and How the Grinch Stole Christmas; in television on "The Tonight Show," "The Late Show," and "Gossip Girl," and numerous commercials; and in theatre performances such as LIMBO (touring internationally), Twyla Tharp's The Times They Are a-Changin' (in New York and San Diego), and with the New York Philharmonic. He is also fluent in Japanese, holds a degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Asian Studies, and was a Fulbright Research Scholar.
Kelsey Strauch is a one-woman show that plays well with others. She is an acrobatic movement artist specializing in object manipulation. Kelsey has performed on stages all across North America and been featured in national magazines, film and television. She is a certified yoga instructor and avid acrobatic Yogi. Along with a BFA in Painting from the University of Oregon and completing the Professional track program at the New England Center for Circus Arts, Kelsey has trained and apprenticed with several (big) top coaches and clowns. She currently lives in New York City studying acting for film and television.
Julie Passaro Krygsman
Julie Passaro Krygsman is a musician and aerialist based out of the northern NJ/ NYC area. She has been playing trombone for over twenty years performing in various orchestras, brass bands, quintets and concert bands including Imperial Brass, Music in the Air and the NJ Sackbut Ensemble. In addition to her musical performances Julie is a marching band advisor at Cresskill High School specicalizing in drum major/majorette and twirling disciplines. She also maintains a full private studio of trombone students.
In 2011 Julie decided to combine her love of music and movement and began training on silks premiering "Jump in the Line", an aerial act that features her playing trombone in the air accompanied by live musicians on the ground. She has since been studying circus arts at Circus Warehouse in Long Island City, NY in the professional program with a concentration on silks, contortion and high wire. Julie has performed on silks all over New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut as a freelance artist as well as with Heliummm Entertainment and Gramercy Brass Band.
When Julie is not performing or teaching she enjoys painting, cooking and relaxing with her husband, pug and kitties.
Cirque Roots, founded in 2011, is a grassroots artist collective with a vision to inspire, create, move, and play. Their primary focus is on modern circus including elements such as hoop dance, acrobatics, fire dancing, clowning, juggling, stilting and aerial arts. The Tucson based Cirque Roots Studio, located in a 1910 adobe warehouse, provides a space for the community to train in circus arts either professionally or as a hobby. The Cirque Roots performance crew has been performing together for more than six years, taking the stage both nationally and internationally. Cirque Roots has directed and produced four original theatrical productions and has another coming out in April 2016.
Tucson Theatre Announcements List
Subscription information at TucsonStage.com