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Real & Alive!

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Ladies and gentlemen, for one night and one night only, Newby's restaurant and bar is proud to present a strange collection of human oddities: Lobster Girl, Jackie the Human Tripod, Pegleg the Elephant Man, Flipper Boy, and Madame Miniature, the Dancing Dwarf.

The presentation of genetic anomalies at traveling carnival sideshows may have fallen out of favor in America during the 1940s, but Samantha X, founder of 999 Eyes Freakshow, is trying her best to bring it back.

"We are totally offended by words like 'disabled' and 'disability,'" Ms. X says. "We're reclaiming the word 'freak.' We want to take it away from all of the heavily pierced or tattooed people who use the word to describe themselves as something outside of the mainstream.

"We've had several people from the disability movement show up to see our shows thinking they were going to hate us," Ms. X says, explaining how her show walks a fine line between exploitation and advocacy. "And they always wind up loving us."

"I'd been searching for a way to get involved in the performing arts for some time," Lobster Girl says. "But [before 999 Eyes], my biggest concern was always how do I hide my claw.

"My mom wouldn't even talk about it," she adds, recounting her early days as a professional freak. "That's changed now that she knows we're serious and since she's seen how much more confident I've become."

999 Eyes Freakshow, Saturday, June 21st, 8 p.m. at Newby's. Tickets are $11. For additional information, call 452-8408.

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