This past Monday night, I got to attend a preview of Circus Americana at the Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix as part of the Yelp Elite — special shout-out to their Phoenix community manager Lindsey Fosse, who is awesome and fosters a great local Yelp community here in the Valley.
The circus was put on by locals Taylor Circus Stars, who have six members from the family in the show. Think of Circus Americana more of a Cirque du Soleil vein, with a focus on gymnastics, clowning humor and dance. There was an elephant who made an appearance, but it was fake — don’t expect anything Ringling Bros.-scale.
The circus has a fantastical story, which takes audience members to a holiday-themed world full of ballerinas and Santa, and then a pirate world complete with a huge ship that doubles as a trampoline. A short intro story in the beginning shows kids asking Santa for what they want for Christmas, which then morphs into several scenes of everything from tightrope walking and contortionism to aerial stunts and cute comedy scenes.
For being a local production, I thought the flow of the show was great and that there was a lot of talent from the performers — many times, my mouth was left hanging open, and I thought the show overall was a lot of fun. Kids should really enjoy it, and it’s great for families. There were a couple of ways the show could have been improved — for example, I would have preferred not to see stagehands in regular clothes, not costumes, switching things in the set through the show. And the production is definitely corny — but so are the holidays, and the stunts definitely made it entertaining for me.
The show runs through Sunday, December 23, and tickets range from $24-$52. For tickets to the show, go here.