folks there is still an old fashioned sideshow on
tour featuring several live human oddities. The "999
Eyes" freak Show is appearing at small clubs on the
West Coast. I attended their performance recently at
the C.I. A. club in Los Angeles. The show was an
entertaining and educational experience for the
large enthusiastic audience.
Unfortunately the performance venue left much to be
desired and was a disservice to such a talented
array of performers.
The club was in a large room with an 18 inch high
platform at one end of the room. There were no
seats. There was only standing observation for the
audience. The room was packed with patrons and I
stood in the rear of the room. My complaint is that
several of the performances were played low on the
stage or in some cases on the floor itself making me
miss seeing some of the acts from my vantage point.
It was impossible to see much of the show for anyone
standing anywhere from the middle of the room to the
rear of the audience area. I can't understand why
someone associated with the show failed to ask the
standing audience in the front rows to sit on the
floor so that all could see the show. This is done
in many clubs. As it was, we could only see the acts
from their waists up.
The high energy music for the show was provided by
That Damned Band.
It was a back woods mountain-type band consisting of
washboards, jug-its, flute, musical saw, accordion
and possibly drums [I couldn't see]. They played
several selections throughout the 90 minute show
including original "freak-related" musical numbers.
The constant flow of live music and song kept the
pace lively and fun. They were excellent. I am
anxious to listen to their CD which I purchased.
The show consisted of sideshow working acts but the
stars of the evening were the human oddities. All of
their presentations were similar. Each oddity
described their abnormality, often in medical terms,
and explained how it affected their everyday lives
and how they adjusted to being different. Many of
the anecdotes were poignant and some inspirational.
They all spoke well and were honest in their answers
to the questions asked by the audience, even those
questions that were of a very personal nature. The
audience was duly impressed.
The oddities included a 7
foot 8 inch Giant
who appeared in "white face." He stood with
his arms folded across his chest as he spoke.
was a very pretty gal with unusual hands. I believe
she had several missing digits. She also played in
O'Leg - Elephant - Skin Man
removed his shirt to reveal his dark tough scaly
He explained how difficult it was living with the
The Black Scorpion
also had unusual distorted hands. He performed some
and wore a black Lone Ranger mask during his
was a pretty little gal who came out with an
umbrella and did a novelty dance which I could not
see because of her small size and the large crowd
that blocked her from view.
Also appearing was the exceptionally multitalented
Lowrent the Clown.
He performed several skits and gags throughout the
evening. He did a clever puppet routine as he knelt
on the stage and wore different funny character
masks and used clever patter. He also played the
musical saw in the band.
Acts that were advertised but did not appear were
The Leopard Man, Giant Handed
and the Half Lady.
My friend said he saw the Half Lady backstage but if
she was there she didn't appear in the show. "999
Eye?, also had a display table next to the stage
showing stuffed freak animals and some bottled
specimens that may have been pickled punks.
The entire program was filmed by National Geographic
Channel for their TV series called "Taboo."
Summing up the show, it was an entertaining mix of
music, song, live human oddities and working acts.
There was nothing naughty, no nudity and there was
no foul language. I highly recommend it to
all sideshow aficionados.