Tom Noddy* // Show: Tom Noddy's Bubble Magic
Tom Noddy began his Santa Cruz street performing in 1977 as a puppeteer on Pacific Avenue. When the wind didn't blow he was able to add some soap bubble tricks to those performances but these were more often successful at the indoor benefit shows, band breaks and open mics where he developed the presentation of these tricks into a unique performance of its own.
To say that this emerged "below the radar" of mainstream show business would be an understatement. But in 1982/83 two different national television shows found Tom. That's Incredible was a prime-time precursor of today's "reality" shows and they presented Tom in three different airings of disconnected bubble tricks.
But just a few months later Johnny Carson's Tonight Show featured the act that had been honed on the streets and clubs of Santa Cruz and it would not be an exaggeration to say that it was a "sensation" (that was the word that Johnny used in the first of three performances on that program). Tom quickly received calls from Europe and Japan and those led to other calls from shows all over the world.
Since that time, Tom Noddy's Bubble Magic has been presented on television shows, nightclubs, Varieté theaters, and science venues everywhere. His astounding skill in manipulating soap bubbles combined with his personable charm and surprising wit has led to an actual career in the field of blowing bubbles not only for himself but for a growing number of other performers who've been inspired to present themselves as bubble performers. Tom has lived in Santa Cruz all of this time but he travels so much that local performances have been rare in recent years.
The Santa Cruz Fringe Festival is providing newcomers to town with a chance to see this local legend and a chance for long time Santa Cruzans to renew their connection to the wonder of caterpillar bubbles, smoking volcano bubbles, spinning carousels and galaxy bubbles, Land of Oz bubbles, Love Bubbles and the Bubble Cube.
Note: back in the 1970s and '80s when Tom started out, he smoked cigarettes to make visible some of the marvels of Bubble Magic and there are videos on YouTube from those days (and even one from a 2007 Letterman performance where he used a ginseng cigarette at their insistence) but many years ago Tom Noddy quit smoking, he uses a handheld fog generating device for the same purpose no lungs will be harmed in the performance of this show.
Louden Nelson Auditorium (View)
301 Center St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|