When I walked into the show Coney Island Sideshow USA at BB Kings the other day I had a feeling I was walking back in time. Or taking a step into a past that was vibrant and alive with performers who loved presenting for the ‘people’.
My love of Coney Island and it’s history is probably why I made this blog entry look like photographic postcards I found in a dusty steam trunk in my aunt’s attic. Discovering the ‘sideshow’ was something that happened to me as a young man walking into Al Flosso’s Magic shop on West 34th St. He had a picture on the wall of Dreamland Circus Sideshow with all the performers standing in front of the entrance posing for the photograph I was looking at. It was dated 1931. I wanted to think that Dreamland Circus Sideshow and Luna Park were still open for attendance. I would have loved to have had that experience.
Dick D. Zigun (the founder of Coney Island Sideshow and Coney Island Museum.) presents this delightful show at different venues around town during the winter months.(Warm weather at their home on Coney Island-one of the few buildings still standing) A great lineup for a wonderful show of talent and skills that aren’t to be found in our media/television heavy 21st century.
The Great Fredini
The Great Fredini hosted the show and performed his sword swallowing. (to start with)
Audience volunteer helps The Great Fredini pull a sword from his throat.
The cast of the afternoon’s show was all a public could want in variety.
Princess Pat dances sultry with her large ‘live’ snake.
The Amazing Amy
‘The Amazing Amy’ twisted herself into many impossible yoga positions set to techno music.
A ‘postcard’ pic if I ever saw one
Here is ‘wildman’ Adam Rinn with two young women standing on his chest thru a bed of nails which he also seems to be laying on.
Adam Rinn doing a magical cigarette trick. Swallowing?
A multi-skilled performer Adam Rinn eats fire.
Here Adam Rinn is blowing fire.
The Great Fredini puts Princess Pat in a box which he then stuck 30 blades into.
He then invited audience members up on stage to see her in the box.
The Great Fredini explains to audience members the story behind the box while they look in at Princess Pat.
Jennifer Miller – Zenobia
One of the ‘Original’ members of the Coney Island Sideshow and a wonderful performer in many disciplines.
She is juggling machetes!
A ghost like shot of Jennifer Miller juggling her machetes.
The Great Fredini and The Electric Chair.
With audience members The Great Fredini is able to electrify them and get a florescent bulb to illuminate in one of their hands.
The show was completed with Princess Pat dancing for the audience.
A great afternoon of entertainment and a lot of exotic surprises that weren’t expected.