Bubbles are fun for all in ‘Bubbleology’ show coming to Ocean State Theatre

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Unlike many performers who warn audiences not to try stunts themselves, Keith Michael Johnson wants those who see his Bubbleology show to try what they see at home.

“I hope they remember everything and go home and try it,” he said.

Johnson of Warwick, who will bring Bubbleology to Ocean State Theatre on May 6, started working with bubbles about 15 years ago as a touring school entertainer. Through his touring and research he found that people weren’t often aware of how much could be done with bubbles.

“People have been doing crazy things with bubbles since long before we knew it,” he said. He called the late 1800s as the “golden age of bubble play.” He described how people once placed bubbles under glasses as decorations at dinner parties, children challenging each other to see who could trap objects inside bubbles, and the playing of “bubble croquet,” in which attempts would be made to knock a bubble through hoops set up on a table covered by a woolen blanket.

In addition to his “bubble historian” level knowledge, Johnson, according to a press release, became the first soap bubble artist in America to create a bubble show with assistance from public funding through the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, an appropriation from the Rhode Island General Assembly, and private donors.

Johnson promises Bubbleology is fun for all ages. His shows explore bubbles in both an artistic and scientific sense by creating sculptures, some of which feature shapes bigger than bathtubs or some that spin and fill with fog. He even said he’d be encasing one lucky audience member inside of a bubble. Johnson calls bubble tricks “as close to magic as you can get.”

Johnson is originally from Bristol, Conn. and came to Rhode Island to attend Roger Williams University. His wife, Mary Johnson, is a former Beacon employee who now works for Polaris MEP, and his son Harry works for self-driving car unit Waymo, which was formerly an arm of Google.

Bubbleology is performed hundreds of times each year in venues across the country and will come to Ocean State Theatre on Saturday, May 6 at 11 a.m. Families can enjoy concessions before and after the performance. The theatre is located at 1245 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick. Single tickets are $10 each, and discount rates are available for groups of 20 or more by calling 921-1777 x112. Tickets are on sale at the box office Monday through Friday from 12-6 p.m., Saturdays from 12-4 p.m. and from 12 until curtain time on performance days. Tickets are also available online at www.OceanStateTheatre.org and via telephone during normal box office hours by calling 921-6800. See videos and photos from Johnson’s past performances at bubbleartist.com.

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