Hot Shot Water-skiers and Daredevils Take Center Stage at the Tommy Bartlett Show

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The Midwest family-favorite Tommy Bartlett Show kicks off its summer run on the shores of Lake Delton in Wisconsin Dells on Memorial Day weekend.

Sky Ski at Tommy Bartlett Show

Sky Ski at Tommy Bartlett Show

The Tommy Bartlett Show appeals to a large range of ages and it’s why generation after generation of visitors come back each summer

Summertime in Wisconsin Dells means that water-ski action and thrills return to the shores of Lake Delton with the 63rd season of the Tommy Bartlett Show. The Show revs up on Friday, May 22 of Memorial Day Weekend, and will run more than 200 performances through Labor Day weekend.
     “We really give the lake a workout each summer,” said Tom Diehl, owner and general manager of the water-ski, sky and stage show. “Our water-skiers train all winter in southern states and come back ready to show audiences why they are among the best in the sport today.”     
     The Show features a 90-minute mix of waterskiing tricks and high-performance speedboats on the water, daredevil stunt artists on stage and aerial performers high in the sky. The venerable Tommy Bartlett Water-ski team showcases a variety of fast-paced trick skiing, including jumps and flips, barefooting and the signature three-tier human pyramid.
     Adding to the mix are unique water apparatus, including the new-age FlyBoard, a wakeboard-type deck with special features. Using water propulsion powered by a jet-ski, a rider can hover over the water and fly high into the air to perform flips and twists, accentuated by a big spray of water gushing from the bottom of the FlyBoard. Using body movements and balance, the performer can dive in and out of the water like a dolphin.
     “The FlyBoard is definitely an audience favorite, said Diehl. “It’s so different and people are just in awe of what our performers can do with it.”
     In addition to the FlyBoard, other extreme water sports includes tricks with wakeboards, jet-skis and the Sky Ski, a special hydrofoil chair ski that allows a rider to skim across the water, while being towed by a boat, and using the wake to perform front and back flips.
     The action comes ashore for the second half of the Show, featuring thrill performers and light- hearted comedy. The Nerveless Nocks open up the adrenaline throttle, racing motorcycles inside the Globe of Thunder. Just 18 feet tall, the steel globe provides the tight confines in which the Nocks race around in circles and even upside down. Among the stunt riders is 17-year-old Cyrus Nock who first debuted in the globe on the Bartlett stage at age six. He’s all grown up now, but Cyrus continues to be among the youngest of motorcycle stunt riders in the world. He joins his parents, Michelangelo and Carolina, as they race around inside the globe at up to 60 miles per hour.
     He may not be as fast and furious, but teen performer Carson Howell also takes to the Bartlett stage this summer on his cycle – unicycle. At age 14, he is a veteran at the Show, joining father T.J. Howell, who shows off a range of juggling skills and unicycle riding tricks. T.J.’s down-home humor gets audiences clapping along and sometimes even getting in on the act.
     The fun and antics continue with another family affair –The Fausto Scorpions and their “risely” foot juggling routine. Using only the power of his legs, Toto Fausto balances and propels daughters Stephanie and Sherry into the air to perform flips and twists. The lighthearted dad-and-daughters routine shows that a little bit of humor goes a long way.
     “The Tommy Bartlett Show appeals to a large range of ages and it’s why generation after generation of visitors come back each summer to see our Show,” Diehl said.     
     When the sun goes down each night, all eyes turn to the sky for the launch of the lighted hang-glider kite. The pilot takes off from the Bartlett stage, towed by speedboat to a height of 700 feet above the crowd. The tow line is released and the performer skillfully glides back down to the very spot from which he launched.
     Nighttime show goers are also treated to the talents of comedic juggler Dieter Tasso. With his unique, subtle brand of humor and distinct juggling and balancing act, Dieter echoes, “You Like it, I Do it Again!” Each evening Show is capped off with a Grand Finale featuring a colorful Entrancing Waters fountain display set to a patriotic musical score.
     The Tommy Bartlett Show is one of Wisconsin’s classic attractions. Generations of families have enjoyed a visit to the Show each summer during their Wisconsin Dells vacations. The Tommy Bartlett Show runs daily, rain or shine, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend (May 22 – September 6, 2015). Shows are at 4:30 and 8:30 p.m. (8:30 p.m. Show only on May 22 and August 31 – September 4). General admission tickets (tax not included) are $21 for adults, $16.80 for seniors and $12 for children ages 5 to 11. Children four and younger are free if they sit on an adult’s lap. Reserved seating for the 8:30 p.m. Show is available at an additional cost. For more information, please call (608) 254-2525 or visit

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Andrea Novotny
Novotny Communications
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