Mark Nizer set an incredibly fast pace in his action-packed, comedy-filled, 15-minute show in Shalimar's Dinner Cabaret in the Baltimore Travel Plaza. His eight-month appearance there ended in January.
Props he used were balls, clubs, cigar boxes, spinning balls and ping-pong balls for juggling with his mouth. His innovative finale trick delighted the audience.
After a few lavishly-costumed dance numbers by the chorus. Nizer took the stage. His blond hair, fair skin and white props contrasted sharply with his shiny black costume and black stage backdrop.
He opened with a flurry of three ball tricks to classical music. Using large white balls, he did three in one hand, continuous behind the back throws and several pirouettes. He rolled one ball from hand to hand on his arms and across his neck. He bounced a ball on his forehead, chopping on each bounce until the ball came to rest on him. That was the setup for head rolls from ear to ear.
He dashed to cigar boxes next and performed a short routine that featured foot catches. He ended with a double pirouette catch of all three boxes.
He spun a ball with each hand and one on a mouthstick and then did a back somersault. Instantly thereafter, he was off and running with three clubs.
Ping-pong mouth juggling was the last portion before his finale trick. He began with two balls out of the mouth. Somewhere in the pattern, he managed to say "thank you" to an applauding audience. Still going, he announced, "And now three balls!" and went right into mouth juggling three. He finished with five balls using both hands to feed his mouth.
Nizer brought the house down with his finale. He balanced a bowling hall on his foot and held a lit propane torch in one hand and electric carving knife, which was turned on, in the other. He kicked up the bowling ball and juggled the three dangerous objects for quite some time as the audience went wild.
Following Nizer's routine, there were several more Las Vegas-style dance routines by the chorus. The 90-minute show ended on a nice touch as all performers sang "We Are the World" and left the stage to shake hands with the audience and thank them for coming.
His time in Baltimore yielded a permanent benefit, though. Nizer caught the eye of one of the dancers in the show, Mary Scott Whitehead, and married her on Oct. 26, 1987! They planned to work cruise ships following their honeymoon.
Tony Palomino is the kind of 11-year-old kid who wants to try everything. Fortunately for him, his parents are the kind of parents who go out of their way to give him the opportunities!
He started his modeling career with an impish sure-seller smile at age 5. Shortly afterward he asked mom, Nancy Palomino of Gresham, Ore., for tap dance lessons. By the time he was six, he was winning trophies in that field.
His older brother did gymnastics and Tony wanted to do it, too. Within two years he placed among the top finishers in state meets. And now, he's a juggler.
"He saw some jugglers busking at Saturday Market when he was about 7," says mom. He taught himself to juggle in about an hour with beanbags she made when they got home. His father, David, was surprised to see Tony chasing beanbags around the rec room. He juggled a bit himself, but had never done it in front of his son. Dad passed on what he knew after that, but within three months Tony was out busking at Saturday Market himself -- competing directly with the jugglers who had inspired him!
The Palominos found Portland's Reed College Juggling Club, where Joe Buhler made Tony feel welcome. "The kid" as others called him, developed technique quickly and was working on five balls before long.
At age 8 Tony acted in a local production of "Barnum," and learned to ride a unicycle. It led to a unicycle club in his school, where today 50-60 youngsters ride. Now Tony is learning to play trumpet, and isn't bad at it already.
IJA conventions are family affairs for the Palominos. They all were at San Jose in '86. Tony placed fourth in Juniors there, close on the heels of Mark Bakalor, another cute youngster. Coaches Sque Levesque and Robbie Weinstein helped him prepare for Akron, and he placed fifth. He also did his first competitive joggling in Akron, finishing the mile and making the finals heat for the 100-meter dash.
His favorite jugglers? "I like everybody," he said. His goals? "To make the top three in Juniors next year, to win a joggling race and to win once at combat!" Who wouldn't figure he's got a pretty good chance?!
The Swiss circus fan's magazine, "Cirque," has published a list of acts appearing in most European circuses this season. Among them are many jugglers. Though we don't have descriptions of the acts, we list them here so that the names of these performers will be more familiar to those interested in the juggling world.
For a subscription to this French-language journal, write Editions de la Gardine, CH-2736, Sorvilier, Switzerland.