WUSTL

Flying chainsaws! 'The Passing Zone' extreme jugglers at Edison May 6-7

By Liam Otten

From clubs and machetes to bowling balls and members of the audience, Owen Morse and Jon Wee — collectively known as "The Passing Zone" — boldly juggle what few jugglers have juggled before.

Morse and Wee will bring their trademark mix of sidesplitting comedy and gut-wrenching suspense to the Edison Theatre OVATIONS! Series with performances at 8 p.m. May 6-7.

Chainsaw jugglers Owen Morse and Jon Wee, collectively known as

Courtesy Photo

Chainsaw jugglers Owen Morse and Jon Wee, collectively known as "The Passing Zone," will bring their trademark mix of sidesplitting comedy and gut-wrenching suspense to Edison Theatre with performances at 8 p.m. May 6-7.

Morse and Wee began juggling as teenagers and were introduced by a mutual friend in 1986, while Wee was attending Luther College and Morse was at University of California, Irvine. The duo met again the following year at the International Jugglers' Association (IJA) convention in Akron, Ohio.

They began performing professionally in 1988, making their debut at the IJA Team Championships in Denver.

Over the years, Morse and Wee have earned a reputation as the world's funniest, and most ambitious, juggling duo. They've collected five world records and 18 gold medals from the IJA — more than any other team.

At the same time, their heart-stoppingly hilarious repertoire ranges from "The Chainsaw Ballet" — a graceful marriage of silk tights and power tools — to "People-Juggling," in which three members of the audience, dressed as astronauts, fly about the stage to the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The Passing Zone has been featured at comedy clubs across the nation and on dozens of television programs, including The Tonight Show, The Today Show, Live With Regis & Kathie Lee and The Miss America Pageant.

Physics' Bender to give related lecture

In conjunction with the performance, Carl M. Bender, Ph.D., professor of physics in Arts & Sciences, will present a seminar on "Juggling and the Mechanics of Instability," which will examine "the underlying principles that account for the strange behavior of objects in motion."

The talk will be at 10 a.m. May 7 in Crow Hall, Room 204, and is free and open to the public.

For more information, call 935-6543.

Morse and Wee have performed with Bob Hope, Tony Bennett, Bob Newhart, Penn & Teller and "Weird Al" Yankovic, among many others.

A performance for England's Prince Charles prompted him to remark, "Very clever, although I'm glad I wasn't sitting in the front row!"

Edison Theatre programs are supported by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency, and the Regional Arts Commission, St. Louis.

Tickets are $28; $24 seniors and WUSTL faculty and staff; and $18 for students and children. Tickets are available at the Edison Theatre Box Office and through all MetroTix outlets.

For more information, call 935-6543.

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