Cambridge in the summertime is simply alive with street entertainers of every description, profession and ability. on any given evening, hundreds of people will gather around acts featuring jugglers, musicians or magicians. Cambridge is an urban circus in the true sense of the word.
The best of these performers are the out-and-out pros, with highly polished acts. These acts tend to set up shop on the concrete islands at the intersection of Brattle St. and Mt. Auburn St. near Coolidge Trust. They draw big crowds and expect money at the end of their shows, which most people give without gruding since they are well worth it. Among this season's best in the center ring are The Shakespeare Bros., who do comedy, clowning, juggling and various other stunts, a magician who is nothing short of amazing and The Amazing Fantasy Jugglers, who are truly fantastic. These acts get started around 5 p.m. and keep it up almost all night. The magician does jaw-opening sleight of hand and his Houdini finale is incredible, even after the third time.
The Amazing Fantasy Jugglers combine percussion effects with juggling magic and are a must a least once.
Dropping down a peg in flashiness and professionalism but not necessarily in quality are the street chamber ensembles. These can be found in front of Holyoke Center, in the Coop main doorway, and in the little park in front of Grendel's Den. These musicians usually play excellent classical music and give you the feeling that you are indeed in a cultural center.
There are, naturally, battalions of guitarists and folk singers, the best of whom hang out near the Coop and in the doorways along Brattle St. Some fine bluegrass and folk can be taken in on an erratic basis in the doorways.
Brother Blue is another street performer who should not be missed. He is one of America's last storytellers, and he practices his art dressed in blue clothes, butterflies, balloons and ribbons. He is a wonderful sight in and of himself. He is also Brother Blue '48, with an MFA from Yale. Talk about over-qualified.