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Bubble mania with 'Bubble Time' at Doudna

Journal Gazette & Times-Courier
Journal Gazette & Times-Courier


Bubble mania with 'Bubble Time' at Doudna

By Carolyn Stephens

Friday evening was the first of two summer 2012 shows at Doudna Fine Arts Center, Eastern Illinois University. It was "Bubble Time" and my first bubble show. I was captivated.

The stage was set with a smiley sun....two plastic chairs facing a plastic TV (with yellow antennas). There were balloon flowers all around. A kid's stage heaven!

Casey Carle and Doug Rougeux of "Bubble Time" are funny guys who know how to entertain kids — and adults — without speaking a word. Casey, with bright red glasses and red suspenders, walked through the audience blowing and sticking bubbles on items found in the audience. The little ones were delighted and begging to have their water bottle or ticket or hat covered in bubbles.

Doug walked on stage, looking very serious with a mop and bucket as he tried to tidy the stage up a bit. He paused to feed a balloon pet dog in a miniature dog house. He was drinking from a coffee cup. The cup fell into the bucket of suds and whoopee — Doug blew bubbles out of the handle. These guys were pantomime experts, with body language that would make a Toastmaster proud. They didn't speak, but everyone knew what they meant and what they were doing.

Casey has a degree in drama and is a graduate of the Ringling Brothers Clown School. He is a consultant for Cirque du Soleil. Doug has a degree in media studies and is a veteran of the Ringling Brothers-Barnum and Bailey Circus, having traveled with them for two years.

These guys are experts in entertaining and are fanatics on bubble mania. At well-placed moments members of the audience were welcome to become part of the act and kids begged to go on. A couple even talked their dad into participating. One of the girls sported a bubble hat and a bubble ring around her neck. All received a trophy for their bravery in going on stage — a balloon flower.

There were all sizes and shapes of bubbles made with all kinds of instruments. An audience member's shoe was used. Doug comically putting a clip on his nose to use the tennis shoe strings as a bubble maker. Big bubbles were made with a pool on stage. A hula hoop was used for some very big ones. Sometimes bubbles were blown inside a bubble. How they did this, I have no clue. It was mesmerizing with the bubbles floating around inside a larger one. A snowman was made with a snowman face on top of large mound of sudsy, white, fizzy bubbles.

The boy sitting next to me was on his knees in his chair while he watched the performance. His eyes didn't leave the stage.

The performance ended with a stage full of foamy bubbles, humongous bubbles, thousands of tiny bubbles plus bubbles from a machine high overhead floating down over the audience.

Thank you, Doudna Fine Arts Center, for this show for kids — and big kids. It was an appreciative crowd and I'm sure they look forward to more shows like this. As will I.

Carolyn Stephens, arts enthusiast and reviewer-at-large for the JG-TC.



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