File puptcrit/puptcrit.0503, message 145

Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005 22:39:02 -0500
To: <>
Subject: [Puptcrit] PR: It's a Free Show...It's a Flea Show... Sat, April 2,

Contact Adam Gertsacov 401-351-2596

The Flea Circus Goes To The Academy
Low culture meets highbrow academics as the flea circus comes to Brown
University on Saturday, April 2.

This is no April Fool=B9s joke: next weekend, Brown University will be hosting
a most unusual professor, and his even more unusual performers:  Professor
A.G. Gertsacov and his authentic Victorian flea circus will be gracing the
stage as part of the eleventh annual Performance Studies International

 The show, the Acme Miniature Flea Circus, is an authentic Victorian flea
circus that features trained fleas Midge and Madge (stars of the show) who
perform spectacular circus stunts as seen before (and on top of) the crowned
heads of Europe.

 Details Magazine called the show "One of the top alternative circuses in
the country." The New York Times said "The appeal is irresistible...
Gertsacov is every bit the fantastical impresario, in his purple top hat and
cash-register voice, introducing us to the wondrous insects itching (sorry)
to perform" And the Los Angeles Times says that "Professor Gertsacov holds
the audience (and the stars of the show) in the palm of his hand."

 According to Gertsacov, ringmaster and proprietor of the Acme Miniature
Circus, flea circuses were popular entertainments during Victorian times,
but had nearly disappeared since the advent of television. The last popular
American flea circus was Professor Heckler's of Time Square, which left New
York in 1957. The rumor is that Heckler thought that the nude shows were
giving his fleas a bad name.

 There are now only a handful of flea circuses still performing throughout
the world. Gertsacov's is arguably the most famous. The Rhode Island native
and his amazing insect stars have performed throughout the country, and in
Canada, Chile, and Brazil. He recently spent three months performing in
Times Square, less than two blocks from where Professor Heckler once had his
fleas. Gertsacov has also been filmed for documentaries on the History
 the Travel Channel, and numerous news programs. He's even been a question
on Jeopardy!

 Gertsacov's educated insect stars pull chariots, dance on a tightwire, and
perform other circus-like stunts. While he does not reveal his method of
training (a proprietary secret, he explains) , he assures the curious and
the civic minded that he uses only methods of positive reinforcement to
teach the insects their routines. "I treat them as if they are my own flesh
and blood," Gertsacov says. "And in some ways, they are."

Says Gertsacov of his participation in the Performance Studies Conference,
=B3I feel very fortunate and honored to be included in this conference. It=B9s
an amazing and rare moment  when the top scholars and the top performers are
both assembled together at the same time.   I=B9m really looking forward to
learning a lot.=B2  Other performers at the conference will include Fred
Curchack, Double Edge Theatre, Split Britches, Pig Iron Theatre, and many
other very well known national and international performers.

In addition to his performance at the conference, Gertsacov, who is also the
director of Bright Night Providence, Rhode Island=B9s largest New Year=B9s Eve
Celebration, will chair a panel titled =B3Popular Entertainment and the
Carnavelesque.=B2  This panel will take place on Saturday morning on the Brown
University campus.

The flea circus will be performed at the Trinity Rep Theatre, 201 Washington
Street, on Saturday, April 2, 2005 at 9:30 pm.  Admission is free (donations

For more information about the conference, visit the PSI website: or call them at 401-863-1510

For more information about the flea circus, visit or call 401-351-2596.
(High resolution photographs are available on the website at )


WHAT: Acme Miniature Flea Circus
WHEN: Saturday April 2, 2005 9:30 pm
COST: Admission is free (donations accepted0
WHERE: Trinity Rep Theatre, 201 Washington Street, Providence
MORE INFO: or call


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