If you live on the North Shore, your neighbors are quick change artists David and Dania Maas.
The two, who live in The Glen, are well known for their success on America’s Got Talent, for their NBA, NFL, and NHL halftime performances, and most recently, for teaching Katy Perry how to change costumes mid-show without leaving the stage. And these neighbors are, for their next amazing feat, transforming the Glen Town Center into a modern-day vaudeville with the opening of their variety club, The Laughing Chameleon, as well as bringing a Windy City Circus to downtown Chicago.
David’s enthusiasm is contagious as he describes the two projects. “We are bringing entertainers to these arenas that have never been available to a Chicago audience before. It’s going to be mind-blowing entertainment,” he says with a gleam in his eye.
Life’s a Circus
Award-winning circus performers, David and Dania met while both were with the Big Apple Circus. Dania’s world famous hula-hoop act was a featured attraction and David commanded attention as a singing ringmaster. The unique quick change act they developed wove together the myriad talents they had acquired as lifetime entertainers and enabled them to travel all over the world, performing for presidents and kings.
The allure of the circus never left them as David and Dania dreamed of creating a circus of their own, to share the wonder and the magic of the big top with families in Chicagoland. The Windy City Circus is the fruit of that dream, with tickets already on sale for the debut performance at Navy Pier, February 17-26, 2012. This nonprofit circus will donate proceeds to their charitable partners, Ronald MacDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana and The Special Olympics of Chicago.
“Our performers are from all over the world, including two artists who were formerly with Cirque du Soleil. We aim to make this a world-class circus that can become a staple in Chicago entertainment,” David says, and I can picture the ringmaster himself calling the audience’s gaze to the talent before them.
David and Dania’s generosity doesn’t end there. Eager to share the amazing acts and talents they discovered as they traveled the world with their own Quick Change show, they have also created The Laughing Chameleon variety club in the Glen Town Center. The first and only entertainment venue of its kind in the North Shore, the cabaret-style club will feature one-of-a-kind comedy, magic and musical acts.
Tickets are on sale now for the December 27 opening week, featuring Christina Bianco, whose astounding vocal talents are matched only by the humor and impersonations she weaves into her performances. The Laughing Chameleon also offers memberships, private rentals, and events including post-show DJs and entertainment.
As their neighbor in The Glen, I marvel at the line-up for David and Dania’s next few weeks. The opening of a variety club, the debut of a circus, all while they continue to travel the globe with their own quick-change act. “The show must go on,” David says with a laugh, and I’m just glad they’re bringing it to my neighborhood!