You've got the Flying Wallendas, comic juggler Adam Kuchler (now in his third season as the principal clown), the tumbling and acrobatics of our own St. Louis Arches (choreographed by our own Jessica Henthoff), and more great acts than you can shake a stick at-if that's your idea of a good time. There's even a magician performing a pretty impressive "cups and balls" routine outside before the show. What more could you ask for?
Happily, there is more. Much more. You get Sidney "Iking" Bateman, a graduate of the St. Louis Arches, now on his own with an impressive pole-climbing acrobatic act. And, high above your heads, the Poema Family and Friends defy gravity and execute triple somersaults on the flying trapeze. The Poemas are pretty entertaining on the ground as well, with a Risley Act in which the younger (and lighter) members of the family flip and fly atop their father's feet.
|The St. Louis Arches|
Photo: Steve Truesdell
Kyle Driggs juggles an impressive variety of objects from rings to umbrellas and, as if that weren't enough, dances elegantly with the graceful Andrea Murillo in a routine that echoes Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
Speaking of graceful, Heidi Herriott and her trained horses execute a fluid equestrian ballet. And Sasha Harrington displays a remarkable combination of strength and agility as she levitates around the ring using aerial straps.
As always, Theatre Director Cecil MacKinnon (a.k.a. Yo-Yo the Clown) narrates the story, which involves Mr. Kuchler going back and forth in time in an attempt to open a magic rainmaking box. That provides just enough of a plot line to link the different acts without bogging everything down with narrative details.
Let's face it, summer isn't our best season here in St. Louis. What with the heat, humidity, bugs, storms, and endless road construction, even we natives wouldn't be surprised to see Virgil leading Dante on a sightseeing tour. But Circus Flora is one harbinger of the season everyone can look forward to. It's a little over two hours (including intermission) music, comedy, and great circus acts. No seat is more than 42 feet away from the ring, it's fun for the whole family, and the prices are even reasonable. Performances continue through Sunday the 25th at the big top tent next to Powell Hall in Grand Center.