2:00 p.m. Sunday, January 27
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The Betty Strong Encounter Center will present a slice of American theater history with “Step Right Up: the Great Dr. Balthazar T. Archimides’ Old-Time Medicine Show” at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27. Admission will be free; a reception will follow.

Played by Richard L. Poole, Briar Cliff University professor emeritus of theater and speech communication, the “great doctor” will serve up a comical “cure” for every ailment, from A to Z.

“In the 19th and into the 20th centuries, in Siouxland and beyond, an industry developed alongside conventional medicine - an industry that combined extravagant claims and spectacular exotic entertainment. It was known as ‘the medicine show’” says Poole, co-author of The Opera Houses of Iowa (Iowa State University Press.

Nineteenth-century medicine is among the Center’s Lewis & Clark Expedition exhibit themes.  Sgt. Charles Floyd died of natural causes on Aug. 20, 1804, in present-day Sioux City. Capt. William Clark described Floyd’s illness as “bilious chorlick.” A standard treatment of the day was a strong laxative prepared by Dr. Benjamin Rush, a leading Philadelphia physician; bleeding; and bed rest.