Medicine show mesmerizes



July 10, 2013 - 12:00 AM

People battled the grueling heat and gathered under shade trees on the north side of the bandstand last night to witness the Great American Medicine Show.
The stars of the show, Professor Farquar and Polecat Annie, dazzled the Iola crowd with illusion, comic chronicles and tall tales.
The show was brought to Iola through the ongoing Heritage Arts Camp at the Bowlus Fine Arts Center. The group performed Tuesday for Heritage campers and then again for free in the square.
Professor Farquar, also known as Sanford Lee, and his wife Polecat Annie, also known Mary Katheryn Lee, perform at festivals, historical sites, fairs and more.
Farquar busted out jokes and the crowd instantly responded to them. He played the guitar and talked about the types of music he played.
“Do you guys want to hear a little country music?” he asked the crowd.
They responded with a loud “Yes.”
“Good,” Farquar said. “This song is from Nicaragua. That’s a little country.”
He tried to sell “Professor Farquar’s elixir of life,” a fake elixir he made himself. Farquar and Annie also got the audience involved in the fun.
Annie had an audience member help her do a dinner plate trick. Farquar pulled a scarf out of a man’s sleeve, found an audience member’s card in a deck and somehow pulled colorful paper from his mouth.
The group clapped along as Annie and her little limber jack man danced to Farquar’s music.
The Sleeper Family Trust sponsored the Heritage Arts Camp and all camps at the Bowlus this summer.

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