It's "cirque'' month in the bay area. First came Cavalia, a horse show with Cirque du Soleil-style acrobatics. Now there's Cirque Dreams Illumination (pictured), the latest Neal Goldberg production that puts tumblers, aerial artists, contortionists, jugglers and clowns into a Broadway musical. Critics have compared it to everything from Stomp to On the Town to Cirque du Soleil itself (not to be confused with Goldberg's Florida-based Cirque Dreams). It opens Tuesday, with eight performances through March 28 at the Straz Center in Tampa. $39.50-$72.50. (813) 229-7827 or toll-free 1-800-955-1045. There's also Cirquesa: Dreamquest, sounding vaguely Cirque-like, in a tent at Tyrone mall.
The ethereal show with dozens of horses and acrobats opened last weekend in Tampa. Times correspondent Marty Clear was impressed. For a full review, go to entertainment.tampabay.com.
"Over the next two hours, dozens of performers and dozens of horses take the stage, performing equestrian feats that seem impossible to conceive, let alone execute flawlessly. In one scene, riders stand on two horses — with one foot on the back of each horse — and race around the stage and jump over a barrier. At first the horses jump; then the barrier is raised and the horses pass under, with the riders jumping over, landing on the two horses' backs, still at a full run."
Shows are at 8 p.m. today-Friday and Wednesday, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday through March 28 at the Florida State Fairgrounds, Interstate 4 at U.S. 301 N, Tampa. Tickets start at $44.50 for adults, with discounts for children and seniors. Some seats offer a partly obstructed view. $139-$190 VIP (create your own package including combinations of stable tours, cocktail dinner and more). Toll-free 1-866-999-8111; www.cavalia.net.
European-style tents have been set up in the parking lot adjacent to JCPenney for this two-hour show blending a children's story with circus artistry. Includes hand balancing, tight wire, acrobatics, swinging trapeze, sky wheel, clowning. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Children's Dream Fund for area kids. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. today-Friday, 12:30, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday at Tyrone Square Mall, 6901 Tyrone Square, St. Petersburg. $20-$35, $16-$35 ages 3-12, 2 and younger free (lap seating only). Toll-free 1-800-625-7220; cirquesa.com.