Vaudeville-style juggling duo set to perform

Submitted Photo Reid Belstock and Warren Hammond bring their special blend of juggling and slapstick comedy to the State University of New York at Fredonia on Feb. 9 when Rockefeller Arts Center presents "SMIRK! Jokesters of Juggling and Kings of Chaos" as part of the Kaleidoscope Family Series.

The Kaleidoscope Family Series at Rockefeller Arts Center continues with what promises to be a roller coaster ride of laughs with “SMIRK! Jokesters of Juggling and Kings of Chaos” on Friday, Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Marvel Theatre at the State University of New York at Fredonia.

SMIRK! is the juggling duo of Reid Belstock and Warren Hammond, who have garnered comparisons to Abbott and Costello with their vaudeville-style act. Their show is described as a hilarious combination of juggling feats and slapstick antics.

Hammond, a former scientist, plays the straight man to Belstock’s maniacal goofball. Juggling, whip cracking, unicycles and a large rocket launcher all make an appearance in this “Odd Couple meets the circus spectacular.”

Described as “a nicely matched pair of performers with a deep bag of tricks” by Juggle Magazine, their juggling and slapstick antics have engaged audiences of all ages across the United States. Their work has earned them multiple awards, including the 2009 and 2011 International Juggling Association Silver Medal in the team competitions.

Belstock began juggling at the age of 15 as a way of overcoming gross and fine motor skill impairment. After one year of juggling, he began his first performing opportunity at Elitch Gardens, a local Amusement Park. From the very first show, he knew it was a calling.

As a student of the famed Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Clown College, Belstock found a balance between his love of object manipulation and slapstick comedy. He spent six months training at Walt Disney World Orlando, perfecting his comic blend with the Entertainment Arts Festival in 1992 with director Lloyd Brant.

Hammond learned to juggle in his hometown of Roanoke, Virginia, where he was taught by noted juggler David Bear Stuart. After graduating from the Rochester Institute of Technology, he worked as a virologist and genetic engineer for a few years after college before deciding to pursue a career as a juggler.

Hammond spent three years with the off-Broadway show “Lazer Vaudeville,” performing with Cindy Marvell and Carter Brown. He has also appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman.

Tickets are available by phone at 673-3501 and at the Fredonia Campus Ticket Office in the Williams Center.

“SMIRK! Jokesters of Juggling and Kings of Chaos” is sponsored by Fredonia Animal Hospital as part of the Lake Shore Savings Season. The Kaleidoscope Family Series is sponsored by the OBSERVER.


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