The Denver Post
Moschen entices crowd
as best juggler of Century


To call Michael Moschen "only" a juggler is sort of like calling Mount Rushmore "only" a carving.

Of course Moschert does juggle -- brilliantly -- as part of his show which hit Denver on Friday night at the Paramount Theatre. He is also a dancer, performance artist, illusionist and mime.

One of the funniest moments of the evening came as Moschen enticed a volunteer on stage for the old "eat-an-apple-while-juggling" trick. Most jugglers eat the apple themselves. Not Moschert. He surrounded his colleague with a web of juggled balls and fed him the apple, too! Quite a feat just as a matter of juggling, but lo deal with a volunteer is asking for trouble. But Moschert seems to thrive on trouble.

He doesn't do anything the easy way.

His opening, called "Light (excerpts)'' is one of the most magical things to be seen on stage. He cups eight transparent spheres, four to a hand. Are they plastic or are they crystal? The light that sparkled from them dazzled the eye, at times seeming as weighted as crystal glass itself, and at others as insubstantial as soap bubbles. As Moschen demonstrated, it isn't how many of these balls that are being manipulated -- one can be as fascinating as eight, especially as it seems to be completely free of gravity and cling to Moschen's hand by static electricity alone.

Probably Moschen's most innovative segment came in "Triangle,'' which requires a large isosceles triangle (it stands taller than he does) made up of, seemingly, plywood panels. By hurling a rubber ball inside, Moschen gets all sorts of vectors and angles going. And if you've never seen a man bounce a ball with his foot -- well, the sight (and sound) of it brought cheers to the Paramount crowd. Moschen is human. He drops balls and a metal hoop clattered to the ground, but he recovers with aplomb and frankly these moments are, in a way, endearing.

But I have also seen him do nearly flawless shows, so I suspect there were difficulties with the Paramount stage, lighting and just about everything else about this frankly wretched venue for a show.

At 43, Moschen is obviously a full adult. But what he has -- a sense of play and wonder -- is exactly what makes his show enticing, marvelous, fun and often thrilling.

It's really too bad that this was his first Denver appearance. He deserves to come back and in a better theater and once again dazzle his audience with his inventive turn of mind.

Not without reason, this man has: already been named "the finest' juggler of the 20th century." He proved it Friday night, flubs and all.
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