The Passing Zone Defies Gravity

by Christine Wiese –

The Passing Zone various stuntsWords like amazing, brilliant, and excellent have been so overused of late that they’re hardly words anymore. Seems they don’t have any heft to them. They’re like fluff in the wind. Such, however, was not case at the Rosemary Clausen Center in Holstein last Saturday. Jon Wee and Owen Morse of The Passing Zone earned all three of these accolades and more. What a way to open the theatre’s fourth season!

The duo were not just jugglers par excellence. They were The Smothers Brothers on steroids. The crowd never stopped laughing. Well – there was a collective gasp when they thought a bowling ball had smacked one of the guys in the head but not to worry. It was only a cleverly substituted plastic orb. And so the show began.

Clubs flew everywhere – behind their backs, one at a time, two at a time, under their legs. Seven clubs morphed into the triple spin alternating pattern which was subsequently ramped up a notch when they executed the whole series of maneuvers backwards. One club dropped but that was OK. They just juggled empty space until it was retrieved and safely spun into the air again.

Silliness erupted when the two performed the boomerang rubber band trick. “Tricking the Universe” is how they explained it. Owen shot the band across the stage and then watched as it rolled back between his legs and was caught in Jon’s mouth. How do they think up such delightful buffoonery?

There was plenty more. Local hero, Matt Voge came up on stage and laid down on a yoga mat (“Matt on a mat” they called this stunt.) while rat traps on sticks flew over his recumbent self. As did one of the jugglers. When asked if he were ready for this dangerous stuff, Matt laconically replied, “Why not?”. Such courage.

The Passing Zone with audience memberTorches were lit and flung high over the stage Sickles flew; boxes defied gravity; rock, paper, scissors were juggled to see who got the solo spot; rings went all over the place. These guys will juggle just about anything they can get their hands on. Jokes flew just as quickly. They called for “thunderous applause” and got it. Sweat was mopped off but they never lost their cool. They were (You guessed it.) amazing, brilliant, and really excellent.

Words can hardly describe their grand finale. It was a classic parody of classical ballet complete with hot pink tights and roaring chain saws. “The Blue Danube” will never be the same.

The Passing Zone gave us a gift that night – the gift of laughter. As Talmage said, “One good hearty laugh is a bombshell exploding in the right place.” Let me tell you, folks; the Clausen Center was the right place last weekend. The place was popping all night long!