by Jim Nintzel
Tonight at Hotel Congress: 999 Eyes, "the last genuine traveling freakshow in the United States."
From 999 Eyes:
Thee 999 EYES vaudevillian freakshow is the last genuine traveling freakshow in the United States - or the first in over 40 years to feature more than three LIVING HUMAN ODDITIES such as the half woman, the dancing dwarf, lobster girl, the Black Scorpion (our very own lobster boy). The 999 EYES authentic human oddities freakshow tours an authentic oddities museum, Lowrent the clown, and a dark carnival jug band -That Damned Band.
—The 999 EYES authentic human oddities freakshow explicitly celebrates real genetic diversity by showcasing amazing feats performed by LIVING HUMAN ODDITIES! The freaks share real stories of what it is like to be born truly different from the average 10-fingered and 10-toed genetic blueprint for humanity – giving folks from all corners a chance to realize that what is different in beautiful. We present as guests Human Marvels and Sideshow artists, such as Katzen the Tiger Lady and Great Gozleone the Sword Swallower for their wondrous sideshow skills. In the 999 EYES show, one must be born physically and obviously different from the vast majority of humanity to be considered a true freak. Freaks are performers who choose by their own free will to celebrate their medical anomaly on stage. The 999 EYES supports rights for differently-abled people, and we play only in wheelchair accessible venues.
—By acknowledging carnival sideshow history the 999 EYES empowers communities with alluring, inventive, and fearless displays of imagination and dream! The 999 EYES show not only provides a place for roving gypsy carnival performers and “human curiosities” to express their art but also provides an environment which revives and highlights the great performers and freaks of the past – and their true life stories! Using olde-tyme music, vaudevillian skits, story telling as well as classic carnival sideshow acts and performance, a world is created that taps into profound emotion, reminding the AUDIENCE of the actualization of the living dream. The 999 EYES brings the AUDIENCE into a world where the strange and bizarre are beautiful. At the same time, this gives the “human curiosities” of the modern age a venue to be truly appreciated once again - celebrating real genetic diversity.
—Lost in time, hidden in the dark corners and in the dusty shelves of old book stores, in the basements of libraries and museums, lies the fabulous, fantastical history of the carnival sideshow - a time when the differently formed were glamorized as part of a traveling caravan and not locked up in institutions. A time when there was a place and venue for amazing performers to come together in a gypsy caravan style and change the atmosphere of the town around them - reminding people there is another way of life and relieving people of their daily routines - reminding them of the power of magic and imagination. The roots of radical artistic movements of today are deeply intertwined with the carnival sideshows of the past…
—The 999 EYES is a collaborative carnival art troupe is co-created with many fabulous individuals - LIVING HUMAN ODDITIES, musicians, magicians, sideshow artists, clowns, writers, experts - each of which works on the troupe’s routines, props, banners, and costumes together. Each show is co-created, with input from the freaks as well as everyone else. 999 EYES tours selectively, sometimes displaying the 999 EYES Museum ov Mutantstrosities, an authentic American Dime Museum, complete with Patches the two-headed cow, pickled punks, oddities from around the world, and displays that tell the history of the freak show.
—The 999 EYES show is suitable for all ages and contains no blatant vulgarity or explicit sexual content. It is available to all ages, recreating the world one freakshow at a time – awakening the collective subconscious to a world where the strange and bizarre are beautiful.