Vaudeville breaks into Moab with a variety of talent at the Dog and Pony Show. There’s doo-wop song, comedy, belly dancing, fire spinning and magic.
All this, and sometimes a little more, is featured at Moab’s Backyard Theater, a small stage within the shade of a majestic cottonwood tree and haystack seating for the audience.
Rick Boretti, a seasoned magician, has being warming up Moab’s Backyard Theater with classic tricks and guaranteed laughs. Sand Sheff, the founder of Moab’s Backyard Theater, watched Boretti while he was doing a show at the Moab Arts Festival a little over a year ago, then engaged him to join this new entertainment set.
Previously, Boretti was doing magic shows at some of the restaurants around town including, Fiesta Mexicana and Eddie McStiff’s.
The show hopes to attract all Moab locals and guests alike.
“Once people know that something’s happening, it will build,” Boretti said.
Melissa Strickland, Elizabeth Jimenez, Nick Williamson and Clark Treese all play with fire in their backyard, practicing their fire spinning. Strickland, who originally brought the crew together to be apart of the show dances, with a whip.
Strickland and Sheff met while wrangling horses together at Red Cliffs Lodge. Jimenez brings a new take on fire tricks by having a flaming hula hoop. Jimenez has been using a fire hula hoop for three years.
“The biggest thing we are thriving for is to promote the culture of Moab again, bring happiness to all the kids,” Jimenez said.
Williamson and Treese both have been experimenting with different techniques. Treese specializes in Poi, which involves two chains holding Kevlar balls of fire on the end that is then swung around to create different motions.
Not only does this talented group master pyrotechnics, they all can eat fire. Jimenez hopes that people can see these out of the ordinary talents as relatively safe and exciting to watch.
“I want people to be more comfortable with things like this [fire dancing],” Jimenez said.
The fire performers come into the show with two sets at eight minutes each.
Sand and Sunnie Sheff add singing to the show, along with a belly dancer, and a group of doo-wop singers and dancers called Harmony.