One day, over a decade ago, three friends decided to work together for the final show of a local festival. The resulting collaboration was so compelling and dynamic they decided to take it on the road.
Our Mission is to entertain and amaze
Madcap Variety Company consists of 3 seasoned entertainers combining their talents into a blockbuster variety show with Jazz & Americana music, cowboy rope tricks, expert juggling, scientific fact, and daredevil antics, served up with family-friendly hilarity and DIY ingenuity. Known for his multiple finales and wry humor, Rhys Thomas has toured his Jugglemania and Science Circus all over the USA and abroad. David "Leapin' Louie" Lichtenstein is a master of old-school rope tricks and wild, foolhardy stunts. He is also a director of the international aid group Clowns Without Borders. Tap dancing sax player MC Shoehorn creates music with his feet and dances with his horn, and he is also the "one-man pit orchestra" utilizing the piano, harmonica and a variety of wind and percussion instruments to create a live sound track to the action on stage.
Jugglers seem to naturally congregate to toss objects at each other, much like musicians at jam sessions. Rhys and David met as teens in the Eugene area and eventually settled in Portland. They went on to develop their routines into personally evolved manifestations of classic circus and vaudeville tricks with customized touches and jokes. Tap dancer/musician MC Shoehorn is as much of a variety act as a jazz musician, with his fast feet keeping a beat while he switches between instruments to add moods, colors, and textures to complement the action and comedy, making juggling sound better!
What We Do as individuals
These three guys each have impressive resumes, traveling the planet and entertaining audiences of all ages. All three men balance the demands of the audience and the road with their responsibilities as family men with wives and children, most of whom are in college now. All three performers have logged extensive histories traveling as solo performers and are available for solo and duo engagements.
Rhys Thomas: His widely-toured “JuggleMania” show features interactive comedy which resonates at different levels for adults and kids, punctuating the high-level circus tricks which characterize his work . His “Science Circus” show adds Newtonian Physics to this mix of hilarity and dexterity. Clean comedy, amazing tricks, interactive shenanigans and an educational option make JuggleMania the "Something Different" you’re looking for, and is appropriate for all ages.
David Lichtenstein specializes in Western comedy shows featuring his cowboy character, Leapin’ Louie. He is a master of physical comedy, trick roping, fancy whip cracking, juggling, unicycling; a virtuoso of new vaudeville and alternative circus. He creates custom shows for companies, festivals, schools, and theaters and has performed these shows full time for over 20 years. He is based in Portland, Oregon but travels the world frequently, shows in 29 countries so far.
MC Shoehorn, aka Michael Conley, is a performance artist who creates music with his feet and dances with his horn. Shoehorn combines body rhythms and sophisticated jazz forms and concepts into an entertaining spectacle. While specializing in sax and tap dance, he is also a vocalist, and a multi-instrumentalist, arranger and composer, utilizing a variety of wind and percussion instruments, classic and original songs, and an ear for music from around the world. He is a bandleader and has released 6 full-length CDs of music and a DVD.