Regional Reviews: Florida - West Coast
Slappy and Monday (Tiffany Riley and Dick Monday) are our clowns and they do an audience warm up/preview before curtain. Slappy is the comic, Monday the foil. Ringmaster Jerod Walker does the introductions in a mellifluous voice, bringing on Russian born Alesya Gulevich and her hula hoops. Her finale, spinning about 16 hoops up and down her body, is exciting. Slappy and Monday's first feature is next up, this one made up of a couple of unrelated bits. My favorite part involves tissue paper which becomes clothing and is put to other uses as well.
Kirill Rebkovets from St. Petersburg, the real one in Russia, not over the Skyway Bridge, and Rolla Bolla comes up next. Rolla Bolla is always a favorite of mine and this act incorporates some crazy high stunts. Slappy and Monday are back with their second feature, this one involving children from the audience ringing bells, sounding out "When the Saints Go Marching In," and then the two of them, on a separate set of bells, tell us that "That's Amore."
Olga Coronas on the ariel lyra is the midpoint act. She is a coach for the young ones in Circus Arts Academy's programs, so no surprise the audience loves her. Slappy and Monday are back for their final spot, this one involving bubbles. Now, what kid hasn't done the bubble-blowing thing, and although not all will admit it, many adults participate with children or grandchildren if they can get away with it. The audience eats this feature up.
Rokardy from Cuba with hand balancing is the finale. After some nifty moves he does a series of mounts that take him higher, higher, and still higher. Some may think it's just the same move over and over, but the higher he goes, the more wobbly the supports. I'll admit it, I was wowed.
A parade of all the participants and a march to the theater lobby for picture opportunities concludes the show.
As always, circus is one of my great entertainment loves. 2019 Summer Circus Spectacular gives me and area families a chance to bask in the atmosphere. This year the presenters have added an extra week of performances.
2019 Summer Circus Spectacular, through August 3, 2019, by The Circus Arts Conservatory and John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, at the Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota FL. For more information, visit circusarts.org.