A Circus Smirkus Sneak Peak
Editor’s note: This story first appeared in the The Valley Reporter on June 28, 2018 and was written by Katie Martin
Circus Smirkus comes to The Valley next week with its new show Vaudeville and it promises to be an amazing event with extravagant and glorious costumes, stunning acrobatics and so much more.
The Waitsfield Children’s Center hosts Circus Smirkus at Kenyon’s field in Waitsfield on July 2 and 3 with shows at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. The event is Waitsfield Children’s Center’s primary fundraiser of the year.
Recently, this reporter was able to attend a rehearsal at the Greensboro home of Circus Smirkus for a sneak preview of the upcoming show.
“This show is filled with surprise,” said Mark Lonergan, the creative director for Smirkus. “Audiences who have come before be prepared for something magical. For those who are new, be prepared for the best classic family entertainment where we try and bring Vaudeville back to life.”
The theme of this year’s show is a throwback to where the circus was one of the biggest things in the entertainment industry. There will be unique Vaudeville elements such as authentic posters and stylized decorations and glamorous, 1920s era costumes. Jugglers will use classic club styles, wooden tennis rackets, hats and even umbrellas to call back to an all-female juggling team from the era called the Juggling Jewels. There will be fun clown banter that ties the show together with a cohesive story about the importance of how Vaudeville is still alive today through the authentic spirit of the circus.
The specifics of the story stay in secret; as every act has its own theme that goes with the entirety of Vaudeville. This year’s show, however, has an emphasis on magic. Those who want to find the mystery for themselves will have to attend the show next week!
Rehearsals continue for Circus Smirkus as they get set for their opening tour this summer. Their show calendar opens with performances in Greensboro, their home base location, before coming to Kenyon’s. As the group practices for their upcoming shows, their schedules are a heavily loaded day started at 9 a.m. and rehearsing till 9 p.m. They have classes that go through choreography, contortion, wire, juggling and hula hooping.
Performers from all across the United States and Canada go through an online audition process before being accepted into the circus summer program. Performers’ ages range between 10 and 18 years old who offer many different talents such as juggling and uni-cycling.
This is the second year that Waitsfield Children’s Center has hosted the circus. The children’s center has been providing child care and early childhood education in The Valley for over four decades.
“As a nonprofit organization, we rely greatly on community involvement with fundraisers such as Circus Smirkus and the Mountainfilm on Tour for financial support. Circus Smirkus is our largest annual fundraiser and is vital to the continued success of our organization. Proceeds from the circus will directly support WCC’s mission to expand its capacity to serve all families in need of high-quality child care services,” said spokesperson Elisa Kiviranna.
Tickets for this show and more can be found at www.smirkus.org/about-big-top-tour/ or call 1-877-SMIRKUS (1-877-764-7587).