Let’s be honest. We have some idea about what defines UniverSoul Circus, Cirque Du Soleil and even Ringling Brothers. But you probably have no clue what to expect from “Circus 1903 — The Golden Age of Circus!” now performing at Knight Theater.
And that’s probably just as well, because the best thing you can do is keep an open mind and grab a seat at one of the shows scheduled through Sunday.
To help make a case for why this show is worth seeing, here are my Top 3 Qcity Reasons to See Circus 1903:
3. It’s an old-fashioned night of entertainment, but subtly modern in outlook and presentation.
Every act showcases superior skills, precision and artistry. In short, these performers are the real deal, having honed their skills over countless hours of practice.
Take the Cycling Cyclone, Florian Blummel. The young man moves backwards, forward, sideways and on top of a bicycle in ways I never thought possible. Or the acrobatic duo, Les Incredibles, where the man uses incredible upper-body strength to throw his female partner into the air for intricate tumbles before catching her in drop-dead stops.
The show is fast-paced, and it keeps check with our nano-second attention spans, never allowing a moment of boredom to check our phones for techno entertainment.
Juggling is one thing, but there’s nothing like the whirlwind speed of The Great Gaston (Francois Borie), who spins in a blaze of twirling pins. The Rossi Brothers are sixth-generation circus performers who have their own special brand of “foot-juggling” built on perfect timing and a lot of trust during flips, blind falls and high-energy fun and dancing.
And just when you need a break from all the adrenaline, out steps the slow-moving artistry of the see-through elephant puppets that transcend the humans controlling their movements.
2. Sister-Girl is fierce!
That’s right. There’s a woman of color in the show, and she’s billed as the Elastic Dislocationist, unforgettable for her flexibility and body contortions. For all I know, she may hail from North Jersey, but Senayet Asefa Amare gives a decidedly North African flair to this mostly Eurocentric show. I may be biased in my Qcitymetro view, but it was a pleasure seeing the woman of color on top of her game in such a beautiful, fluid and spectacular way.
1. It’s all about the kids
What Ringmaster Willy Whipsnade (David Williamson) did to bring out the hilarity and personality of four local children he plucked from the audience beat any reality TV show. Within minutes, they were stealing the show with a natural joyfulness no script can produce. And they did it in front of an audience that was about 80 percent adults, who roared with laughter.
If Williamson can do that at each performance, just put him in the Ringmaster Hall of Fame and let the kids take their bows.
Shows: Daily through Sunday, May 7
Place: Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts
Price: $29.50-$99.50 ($20 tickets may be offered two hours before curtain.)
Tickets: Click Here