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Lazer Vaudeville show comes to The Maryland Theatre

April 15, 2002|BY MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

Jugglers, rope tricks, fancy costumes, snappy patter, smart quips ... it was like "The Ed Sullivan Show" reborn from the 1950s Sunday afternoon at The Maryland Theatre.

Lazer Vaudeville captivated several hundred kids of all ages who gathered on a rainy spring afternoon to be delighted, thrilled and in a few instances, driven to tears, by the sights and sounds of a unique traveling show.

Like three overgrown youngsters who ran away to join the circus, Carter Brown, Cindy Marvell and Bee Jay Joyer coupled their old-style vaudevillian act with a modern light show that played off luminous costumes, rings and ropes to keep the audience enthralled.

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"It was my idea to come and I had a good time," said 10-year-old Joel Yount of Hagerstown. "The sticks were my favorite."

Used in a musically accompanied number at the start of the show on a dark stage, the glowing sticks wielded by the trio moved about as if on their own.

Joel and his dad, Bill Yount, had seats in front so they wouldn't miss a thing.

Also in the front was Brandon Younger, a Hagerstown businessman, who found himself onstage for a comedy routine involving a straitjacket, some dancing and a pie.

Proving himself quick and limber, Younger was able to wriggle free of his straitjacket first and deliver rather than receive the pie in the face.

Tanya Resh and her son, Colby, 3, enjoyed the entire show, right up until a life-sized glowing dragon showed up onstage and began to sing a song. Even though the song was comedic, several younger children, including Colby, didn't take it well and began to cry.

"It scared him a little," Tanya Resh said.

William White, a Hedgesville, W.Va., grandfather, had 2-year-old Ashley with him for the show. But clearly the show was having a greater effect on the generation that remembered fondly the vaudeville acts that once were common on stage and television.

"It really brings back memories for me," said William White, "but Ashley liked it too."

Haven Younger attended with her pie-throwing husband and several youngsters, including Hannah Itell, 8, who said the dragon was her favorite.

Tearing herself away from her chocolatey snack, Grace Wroblewski, 4, said the ropes that glowed were the best ... next to the chocolate.

But clearly the hometown "star" of the Sunday afternoon show was Francis Nooney, a fearless 7-year-old first-grader at St. Mary's School who assisted Joyer in a humorous juggling routine.

Francis gamely held onto three juggling pins, a large red ball and a balancing stick, handing them to Joyer, who was standing on a board positioned on a roller atop a table.

When his task was completed, Francis took a bow and returned to his seat, perhaps with a head full of dreams of someday running off to join the circus, too.

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