Cirque Italia – The Night I Nearly Ran Away With the Circus

Cirque Italia is most definitely not your grandparents circus… there isn’t an animal in sight! Well, aside from the T-Rex, but we’ll get to him later.

Seeing as the last time I went to the circus it was my mom who took me, it seemed only fair to turn the tables and take her as my guest. As we walked up to the big white tent, I was unsure of what to expect. I mean, the circus I grew up with had tightrope walkers and aerialists and elephants and tiger tamers… in a big top… with 3 rings!! How on earth could this new ‘animal free’ circus experience compete with those closely held childhood memories? I just couldn’t imagine… and then the countdown began.


Let me set the mood for you first. It’s really quite intimate once you get past the box office and concession stands and into the central, main tent where a circular platform takes center stage in this 1-ring water circus. The overall lighting is dark and moody, with shades of green and purple which add to that magical feel. Over that plays a soundtrack of popular music with a laser light show going on in the background on the tent walls. There was a buzz of excitement and anticipation in the air, so when the stagehands started preparing the stage for the first act the crowd went wild! But not as wild as they did when the countdown to show time appeared on the tent walls in lights (part of that laser show), and then the whole place went dark….


As the lights came up, the water was revealed, and the first act took to the sky doing all sorts of beautiful and dangerous movements while suspended 15-30 feet in the air. And that was just the beginning! The best way I can describe the performers is to  compare them to the type of acts you might see on America’s Got Talent. There were contortionists and jugglers and hand balancers and pole walkers and roller skaters and… well, I think you get the point. There was even a guy on the spinning wheel of death that scared ME half to death!!!! I’ll admit I had to look away during part of his act. He had no net and was doing just stupid crazy things way high up in the air…. it was TERRIFYING!!!!


In between each act came the comedy stylings of Alex & Coco, Cirque Italia’s version of a clown/ jester/ ringleader all wrapped up into one. Or two, should I say? Not only were they hilarious, but talented too! I don’t want to give anything away, so let’s just say that they will keep surprising you throughout the evening.


Speaking of surprises, here are a few tips to help you avoid any big ones:


  • Show up early… after parking you’ll need to stand in line at the box office for your tickets, even if you’ve pre-purchased them online. And as that line can get rather long, showing up early will allow you to get settled in before the show starts.

  • Bring cash as that’s all they take for parking and at the concession stands. Extra bonus – if you don’t want to wait in line, there are roaming vendors selling food, drinks, and toys to you right in your seats!!

  • There may or may not be a photo op with a dino at intermission. Pics cost $10, and again, only cash is accepted. (ok, I won’t keep you in suspense… There is TOTALLY A DINOSAUR!!!)

  • Keep your eyes on the water as it falls. Again, not trying to give anything away, but you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about every time you see it.

  • NO PHOTOGRAPHY IS ALLOWED DURING THE SHOW!! You will have a chance to take photos with all of the cast mates after the show though, so don’t hurry off too quickly.

  • And lastly, try to use the restroom before arriving, unless you’re a fan of porta-potties. IJS

I know I went in skeptical, not knowing what to expect from this new, modern version of the circus. Well, let me tell you that it far exceeded any possible expectations. There was music, suspense, action, comedy, and some eye-candy too. *wink wink* All the while being entirely appropriate for the whole family. Bottom line…. this is not to be missed – so go check them out before they pull up stakes and head for the next town!!


~Submitted by guest correspondent extraordinaire, Vanessa Prieto