Thursday, April 24, 2008

Also known for our inflatable silliness

Among Maine's extraordinary entertainers is Fred Garbo, of Norway, Maine. The press of Springfield, Illinois geared up for his company's much anticipated performance with an April 17th article by Tamara Browning. Among the tidbits of information about what the audience can expect, Garbo's history and ingenious ideas are mentioned.
Garbo has been a professional performer since 1974 (when someone gave him money for doing card tricks). On “Sesame Street,” Garbo was the acrobat inside Barkley the Dog. On Broadway, he was the chief juggler in the musical “Barnum,” and he’s also toured Europe, Hong Kong and Australia with the Obie Award-winning Foolsfire, with Bob Berky and Michael Moschen.

Garbo also has tumbled for the New York City Opera at Lincoln Center and danced with the dance company MOMIX in Brazil.

The 53-year-old Garbo founded the inflatable theater company nearly 18 years ago, when he took a break from show business to do skydiving. While packing his parachute, he was struck by its bright colors, strong material and portability, he says in an artist’s statement.

“The parachute material inflates into a huge, big prop and then deflates down to nearly nothing,” Garbo says in the statement. “I took this idea to my friend and hot air balloon artist, George York. Between us, we devised what would be the first in a long line of strange new props.”

Among the props in the New Victory Theater show was an inflatable dog.

“It’s an ‘Air-dale,’” Garbo exclaims[...]. “Good dog!”

Read full article here: [Source]
Incidentally (and in an odd coincidence), Fred Garbo was one of Patrick Dempsey's early entertainment instructors.

PHOTO: Inflatables such as this dog highlight Fred Garbo’s shows. Credit: Fred Garbo Inflatable Theatre Company

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