Those Versatile Yard Dogs

Review by Walt Hudson


When I heard the "Yard Dogs" had been booked into a club here in Baltimore I assumed they would be like so many other sideshow groups. A run-of-the-mill three or four person show doing the standard nail board, blockhead, walking on glass and other stuff which has become old-hat due to over exposure. Boy, was I wrong!

James "Shocked & Amazed Taylor and I arrived early and were surprised to see a full size tour bus parked outside the club and 13 performers and two drivers unloading the show. State-of-the-art lighting and sound equipment was set up on the stage. Beautiful stage curtains and sideshow banners were hung. Fantastic costumes and world class props were carried backstage.

The "Yard Dogs "were a sideshow, musical revue and burlesque show combined. A live band of six musicians provided the music for the singers and novelty acts. Seven guys and six gals made up the cast of versatile entertainers.

Although I did not get all the names of the cast I'll mention a few highlights of the show.

Leighton Kelly aka Hellvis was the MC and kept the show moving. He presented a top notch fire routine. He was also the banner painter and the man behind the Norton P. Electric Sideshow Museum. The museum exhibit with some of the newest and most unusual gaffs created by Kelly was on display free of charge.

Fletcher Strong aka Five Livered Larry presented the anatomical act known as the yogi gut suck where he made his stomach disappear by "sucking" it up into his chest! Then he made it reappear and expanded it like a huge balloon. I haven't seen an act like this in years. The audience was amazed. The act is so old it was new!

Tobias did an excellent sword swallowing routine and included a neon tube where his entire-and I mean entire- throat glowed. The highlight of his act was the seldom seen, unbelievable water regurgitation. After drinking several glasses of water he spits the water out in a steady stream into the air and he becomes a "human fountain." Great music
and lighting made this a production number. It was another audience pleaser.

Eddy Joe Cotton is the man behind the high energy show and has put together a spectacular entertainment package. He performs several bits and introduces the Miss Electricia act performed by Emily Hughes. She kneels on a metal plate and does the standard "electric stunts." Once again the music and special lighting made this a standout

An impressive feature was three beautiful gals who made up the burlesque part of the show. The trio performed in three spots. They were a classy act; sexy but in no way offensive. A triple treat.

"Yard Dogs" are on a five week tour playing almost seven days a week. I highly recommend the show. .


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