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University of Iowa News Release

Dec. 9, 2005

Local Students Attended Fred Garbo Inflatable Theater Matinee In Hancher

More than 1,400 elementary-age school children attended a matinee performance of he Fred Garbo Inflatable Theater Company on Monday, Dec. 5 in the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium. The event was part of Hancher's Stage Door Series for school groups.

Garbo's "pneumatic vaudeville" has been a worldwide hit, including two runs on Broadway and a show-stopping appearance on David Letterman's "Late Show." The production features fanciful inflated suits, props and scenery of all shapes and sizes, juggling, dance, visual comedy and all sorts of wholesome mischief.

Garbo has just the sort of background to know how to make this magic happen. He has been the man inside "Sesame Street's" Barkley the Dog; and on Broadway he was the chief juggler in the hit musical "Barnum." He performed in the Obie Award-winning "Foolsfire" with Michael Moschen and Bob Berky and worked with MOMIX Dance Company in Brazil. And for the last 17 years he has been inventing and performing with inflatable costumes and props.

"Wherever we go, people always ask the same question: 'Where did you ever come up with this idea?'" Garbo says. "The short answer is: We made it up. It's our own fault."

Attending were:

CEDAR RAPIDS: Cedar Rapids Home School Assistance Program-25 students

CENTER POINT: Vinton-Shellsburg Home Schools-6 students

CORALVILLE: Montessori School-8 students

IOWA CITY: Christian Home Educators-50 students; Grant Wood Elementary-80 students; Hoover Elementary-185 students; Horn Elementary-242 students; Kirkwood Elementary-212 students; Polk Elementary-160 students; Sacred Heart Home School-13 students; Shimek Elementary-99 students; Wickham Elementary-235 students

FAIRFIELD: Fairfield Home Schoolers-39 students

KALONA: Mid-Prairie Home Schools-27 students

NORTH LIBERTY: Hillside Christian School-19 students

WASHINGTON: Washington-Waco Home School Assistance Program: 12 students

WILTON: Zion Lutheran School-28 students

Hancher's education program is generously supported by the Herbert A. and Janice A. Wilson Arts Education Fund.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail,

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,