jump to navigation

Sarasota Summer Circus Spectacular July 31, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Music & Dance, Travel & Leisure.
24 comments

As part of my birthday celebration, we attended a matinee performance of the Sarasota Summer Circus Spectacular in the Historic Asolo Theater at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota:

An 18th-century treasure in a 21st-century venue, the Historic Asolo Theater is a work of art in its own right. The palace playhouse was created in Asolo, Italy in 1798 to honor the 15th-century exiled Queen Catherine Cornaro of Cyprus.

In the late 1940s, the theater was dismantled and brought to the Ringling Estate in Sarasota.  In 2006, after years of painstaking restoration, America’s only 18th-century European theater was reset in the John M. McKay Visitors Pavilion just inside the historic Cà d’Zan Gatehouse on the Ringling Museum estate.

The Historic Asolo Theater now functions as a performing arts venue, presenting a diverse roster of theater, music, dance, film, and lectures.

The show boasted clowns, jugglers, acrobats, aerialists, and illusionists.

Opening the 2013 Spectacular, Texas Jack Fulbright, the reigning world champion of trick roping, engaged in some whip cracking fun.

We enjoyed the sleight of hand of master magician Rafael Palacis, and the aerial grace of the magnificent “Queen of the  Air,”Dolly Jacobs.

We had two favorite acts during the matinee.  First, nationally-acclaimed Silent Comedian, Robb Zeiser, drew laughter from the crowd on his own . . .

IMGP3679

And with the able assistance of children pulled from the audience . . .

IMGP3681

Who, upon waking that morning, had been unaware that they would wow an audience by balancing a spinning plate on the head of a spindle . . .

IMGP3682

But you’ll have to take my word for it because, just as his miniature volunteers proved their proficiency at passing spinning plates from one to the next, an usher informed me that taking photos in the Asolo was a big naughty “no no.”

Oops.  Mea culpa.  (When I saw her headed my way, I thought she meant to chastise my slouch . . . or my failure to get a proper pedicure before appearing in public.)

IMGP3680

The last act, Duo Romanesc, drew appreciative gasps from the audience as this dynamic and nimble duo demonstrated flexibility, strength, grace, and balance.

Ian Laidlaw and Anthony Congdon have performed as a duo hand-balancing team since middle school, when they met at the Sailor Circus in 2007. Coached by the distinguished circus performer Willie Edelston, they have also performed as part of quad and trio hand-balancing teams.

Aah . . . that’s better!