sealPurdue News

October 31, 2002

Garbo Inflatable Theatre offers buoyant night of fun

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Fred Garbo Inflatable Theatre Co., a light-hearted show featuring costumes and inventions that inflate, will be presented at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, in Loeb Playhouse.

Admission is $10 for general public, $7 for Purdue students and children K-12. Tickets can be purchased at Purdue box offices or charged by phone at (765) 494-3933 or (800) 914-SHOW. Tickets also are available at all Ticketmaster outlets. Fred Garbo Inflatable Theatre is presented by Purdue Convocations.

In a colorful, fast-paced and creative show, Fred Garbo's combination of pop-action inflatables and hilarious dramatics has won the praise of audiences worldwide.

Garbo and his partner, prima ballerina Daielma Santos, blend the silly with the serious: Santos' grace and precision with Garbo's unique antics, acrobatics and slapstick comedy.

Many of the mutant balloons the duo uses are manipulated from the inside, which gives the airbags lifelike energies all their own. Most of the inflatables are simple geometric shapes – cubes, tubes and flattened blobs, alone and in combination – designed to create the feeling that the audience has stumbled into a giant toy box. Audiences will see blow up furniture, an "Air-dale" dog and "Fred Zeplin – The Inflatable Man," the world's only human blimp.

Garbo and Santos have performed in festivals, theaters and television programs all across the United States and throughout the world.

Also known as the man inside Sesame Street's Barkley the dog, Garbo has been a professional performer since 1974. He trained and performed with the "master of illusion" Tony Montanaro, danced with the MOMIX dance company and performed on Broadway as the chief juggler in the hit musical "Barnum."

Santos was the principal ballerina with the Cisne-Negro Ballet Company of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and is a continuing guest artist with the Portland Maine Ballet Company.

The show's levity and light-heartedness is testament to the decades of study, training and practice that it took to make their antics seem so effortless.

Their first Broadway run in 1998 played to sold-out houses at the New Victory Theatre, and Garbo has performed on the "The Late Show with David Letterman."

CONTACT: Larry Sommers, Purdue Convocations, (765) 494-5045,

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: A publication-quality photograph of Fred Garbo and Daielma Santos is available at

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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