The circus (and more) in Roxbury


Roxbury — The Greatest Show Probably in the Universe is on its way to the Happenest Hamlet of Roxbury THIS Saturday, Sept. 1 ONLY. For five ferociously festive and hair-raising hours beginning at High Noon, you will be Bug-Eyed by the Bacchanalian Busking & Barding of the Biggest Street Performers Extravaganza Ever extrapolated on State Highway 30! You'll witness acts of dazzling dizziness, blissed out riskiness, trapeze trickiness and possibly – Your Very Own Act. (Read to the end to find out how YOU can crash the show.)

Whistle whilst you wonder -- and wander
The musical and poetic muse will be in hot pursuit as you take to the streets seeking thrills: Poet-Performer Phillip Levine, president of the Woodstock Poetry Society & Festival, has competed in the 2000 National Poetry Slam and has the temerity to teach poetry to underage youth, including those who are incarcerated. Be on the lookout for his theatrically infused poetry performance, “approx. poet falls in love & can't get up" and his prose poem "Soon," soon. Or perhaps Phillip will "make it up as he goes along," either way, you're getting slammed with verse. If you like music with your lyrics, we can get behind that. Skip Parsons, for example, has been playing Jazz (and unlike most of you, getting paid for it) since before you or your parents were born. He makes his friends play, too.

Since the 1950s, they have been the Northeast region's "Jazz on Demand" fan fav, including Riverboat, Classic and JellyRoll Marmalade style syncopations. Jeanne Palmer and Connie Mohar are the Fiddle and Accordion duo that deliver a great mountain sound, and if you are from around these parts, you'll know which is the guy! And what would a street festival be without the fabulous strummings of Mike Herman? Laurie McIntosh, who has "pipes" of her own, has acquired some Brassy Backup on tuba with that talented blowhard, David Winograd. Be still my twiddled nerves!

Harmony Street, an a capella doo-wop group will soothe you with Tempatational-tuned "chordination": Jill Tannone, Doug Williams, Dick Vollkommer and (gasp, he can sell a tune as well as a house?) Frank Lumia.

ALL THIS and: Air-tight Accordioned ACROBATS! Artfully Arch AERIALISTS! Curiously Carbonated CARTOONISTS! Exceptionally Exuberant EQUESTRIANS! Flagrantly Flamboyant FIRE-EATERS! Jiggliferous Giggling JUGGLERS! Nonchalant Ne’er Do Well NECROMANCERS! and Slippery-Toothed SOOTHSAYERS are but a few of the Jaw-dropping Jubilations jumping out at you all day, via the Barnstorming Bravado of Bacchanal Promotions and the storm-tossed troupe of hypercaffienated hearties they truck from one state of mind to the other. Bacchanal will take to the streets all afternoon, then at 4 p.m. they will magically jello for Their Really BIG Show.

For the artistic among you..
Meanwhile, at the Roxbury Arts Center, Aree Bray will create an installation of silent film classics, projected hither and yon, with live musical accompaniment to keep your not-so-silent toes a'tapping. Aerialist Robin Lynch will be flying from the trusses to make you gasp in awe as she twirls and dances upside down and every which way. No net, no mattress: Robyn, you and your noggin are on your own! For the refinedest in your lot, there will be artsiness afoot in the Walt Meade Gallery, with Ellen Wong's impressionistic, plein air renditions of our Catskills landscapes, "Local Gets Personal" and in the Old Bank Gallery, a multi-artist exhibition celebrating "Trees and Leaves." There'll even be caricaturists, tattoists and face painters for those who have a needling need to turn themselves into Walking Art.

That "swingingest set," The Roxbury Nine Vintage Base Ball Club, will be "battery charged" for all their cranks in Kirkside Park's legendary Ball Field. The game will be broadcast live from WIOX 91.3 FM. Bats will be cracking at 2 p.m. sharp! Also in Kirkside Park, the Bare-Backed Acrobatic Equine Grace of JD WInslow and his galloping mounts of majesty, Zeus and Athena, will delight and thrill young and old alike.

Children of all ages will also delight in Chee-Chee the Hobo (freeloader!) Clown who twists balloons into arcane animal-like shapes, and they'll also be able to make fish fly, courtesy of Jill Cline, of Catskill Mountain Artisans Guild, who will help kids make "Koi" Fish kites. Bonnie Walker will help kids enjoy making corn husk dolls and other old-fashioned crafts that they can take home.

Salute! and down the hatch
We guarantee the First Annual Bonanza Bard & Busk Street Entertainment Extravaganza to prove so Deliciously Diverting and that you will have to eat ALL DAY along the way to remain sentient: Specialty lemonade, cotton candy, a cart full of old-fashioned treats, root beer floats, gourmet chocolates and ice creams, chicken barbeque, baked goodies, wood-fired pizza, and if that's not enough, you and your entire clan can dispatch forthwith to the Public House on Bridge Street for a quaff of Ommegang Rare Vos or some Budweiser brew on tap. The Public will also be serving burgers, foot long dogs (and veggie burgers for you pesky herbivores) lotsa toppings and baked beans too (VFD, alert!). Cassie's and the East Branch will also be open with their full menus -- and comfortable chairs to take a load off your dogs.

Hurry, you're up!
Yes, that's right —You Yourself can get in on the act. But like every good trooper, you must audition! "How is that possible?" you say, "I live in Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha! Quebec! (yes, we take pride in our exclamation points.)" Just video your as yet undiscovered wonderfulness (B&B declares itself held harmless from any liability involving self-inflicted stupidity), share it on the Busk&Bard Facebook, then (good luck!) make your friends "Like It." The stint that gets the most likes will be The Opening Act for Bacchanal's really big show at 4 p.m. You Yourself could thereby be the Beginning of the End of The Greatest Show on EARTH! Practice your autograph!

The "BABSEE" is brought to you by the one and only MARK Project, the Wildly Diverse WIOX community radio (91.3 FM and streaming worldwide at, the world-renown Roxbury Arts Group, and last but not least, the Lovely Lady herself, the Grande Dame of Roxbury, Kirkside Park. Funded in part by the A. Lindsay & Olive B. O'Connor Foundation, Mike Reuter Trust & local businesses. Come one and come all on Saturday, September 1 for The First Annual BUSK & BARD Street Entertainment Extravaganza, a Day Never to be Forgotten in the Annals of Unheard of and Exotic Public Spectacle!! 607 326-3722 or on the World Wide Web at and facebook. No animals were, or will ever be, harmed in the mounting of this production.