Published September 21, 2012
Annual vaudeville extravaganza finally gets a dogMOLLY GILMORE
Even in the do-it-yourself hub of Olympia, Lord Franzannians Royal Olympian Spectacular Vaudeville Show stands out.The annual show which showcases musicians, acrobats, jugglers, dancers, comedians and more in the intimate space of The Midnight Sun offers a chance for anyone and everyone to be a star for the shows two-weekend run.This year, that includes a family pet.This year for the first time we have a dog act, said Elizabeth Lord, the actress and storyteller who directs and manages the Sun and produces and hosts the show as the big-bellied, red-cheeked Franzannian. Im so excited. Every year I always hoped someone would walk in with a dog or some animal act.That is really traditional vaudeville.Lord doesnt want to give away too much about the act, so she revealed only that the dog would be in costume.Lord is promising several more surprises, too.Among the other acts this year are burlesque numbers by Magic Box Burlesque and Perlita Picante, juggling by yoga teacher/storyteller/Banda Room owner Aeryk Bjork, and acrobatics by Kimberly Cardamom and Sara Sparrow of the Tallhouse Arts Consortium.Tallhouse is best known for its aerial work, which will be showcased at the Procession Studio for fall Arts Walk and at the Brotherhood Lounge this winter. But thats not whats on the menu for the vaudeville show.Obviously, they arent doing trapeze because at The Midnight Sun, the ceilings are too low, Lord said. If someone is just hanging 2 feet off the ground, thats not really that scary.But its a perfect venue for acrobatics at floor level, said Sparrow, also known as Sara Olson. Its hard to do floor acts in a lot of the Tallhouse shows, because visibility is difficult.While vaudeville is an art form going back to the 19th century, Sparrows act is contemporary. My work is firmly rooted in modern circus arts, she said. It has elements of theater and dance.Sparrow worked as an acrobat before becoming an aerialist, but said this is her first solo floor act.I have been to the show in the past, she said. Its a really fun show, and its a great way to try out new material and experiment with doing a floor act.In fact, even Lord/Franzannian, who has hosted the show since its beginning in 2007, is trying out a new talent this year.Lord Franzannian gets to do a choreographed dance piece this year with two other dancers, Lord said. Hell be a little bit of a ballerina. Which should play well, because Lord Franzannian is no ballet dancer.