WHEELING - Nothing shocks, thrills and entertains like a live show filled with death-defying feats, flames and bizarre talents.
Fire and Slice - a two-woman sideshow and fire arts performance team - delivers all of that in their high-energy show that features must-be-seen-to-be-believed feats such as the human chopping block, the blockhead, the human pincushion, glass walking, fire eating and breathing, fire-spinning and more.
The duo is based near Albany, N.Y., but will be stopping in Wheeling for a special one-night only performance at 6:30 p.m. April 17 on the lawn of Oglebay Institute's Stifel Fine Arts Center.
Oglebay Institute’s Stifel Fine Arts Center will be the scene for fire-eating and fine cuisine April 17, as Oglebay and chef/traveler Matt Welsch combine forces for an evening of thrills, wine and food. Fire and Slice will be an event unlike any other in Oglebay history. - Contributed
The evening includes a two-act, one-of-a-kind show and a question-and-answer session with the performers.
The event is being presented by Wheeling native Matt Welsch, who has spent the last several years traveling across the country as part of the Vagabond Chef Project, where he wrote a culinary travel blog.
After 13,000 miles, crossing the country five times in nine months, and visiting more than 50 restaurants, the Vagabond Chef Project has entered a new phase. Welsch has returned to his hometown of Wheeling and will be catering, teaching classes and hosting special events.
"I've been traveling for half of my life. I've seen many beautiful places and from early on, I knew I came from one of them. I've always returned to Wheeling with a smile on my face. When my wife and I recently had the opportunity to return to the valley, we didn't need to deliberate long," he said.
Welsch said when he heard that his friends in Fire and Slice would be traveling through the area, he immediately sprang into action to plan an event.
"My first thought was how can I make this something cool to benefit Wheeling," he asked. "We want to have more great events here in our city and provide more opportunities for people to have some fun and experience new things."
The Fire and Slice performance is an outdoor, festival-seating event. Guests are encouraged to bring a blanket or a chair and find a spot on the lawn.
Food, prepared by Welsch, and a selection of beers will be available for purchase with cash only.
Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance through PayPal to Matt@theVagabondChefRides.com; in person at the Stifel Fine Arts Center, 1330 National Road; or by calling (304) 242-7700.
Katana uses her years of training as a martial artist and juggler to add her own unique flare to the duo's repertoire of classic sideshow and dazzling fire arts.
Whether she's wielding a machete at her partner's bare flesh, walking in broken glass or keeping two blazing fire props moving at once, she does it all with grace and precision.
A native West Virginian, Shaska can't seem to get enough of pushing the boundaries. As a human pincushion she thrills and horrifies audiences with seemingly superhuman pain tolerance while her accuracy with a sledgehammer is nothing to sneer at. She also relies on her years of dance experience to make her fire spinning one-of-a-kind, punctuating her act with dragon-like fire breaths and fearless fire eating.
The Vagabond Chef Project is one man, a motorcycle, a passion for travel and learning and an invitation. Welsch has spent half of his life traveling the globe and chronicling his journeys. As the Vagabond Chef, his focus is on exploring new techniques in the kitchen, discovering new types of cuisine and learning. Whether it's on the back of his motorcycle or driving a knife, Welsch is always pushing his limits and looking to the next horizon.
For information, go to www.thevagabondchefrides.com.