Commercial Business - Dance - Festivals - Kids/Family - Music - Performing Arts - Theatre - Traditional Arts - Visual Arts
1340C A1A S, St. Augustine, FL 32080
Venardos Circus (www.venardoscircus.com), a unique family oriented traveling troupe, will bring its big-top performance to the St. Augustine Amphitheater in early 2018, with 17 performances beginning Jan. 24 and running through Feb. 10.
The Venardos Circus proudly features its own custom-made big-top, a classic red-and-white striped tent, with an intimate feel and seating for up to 300 guests. The St. Augustine shows will take place in the parking area of the St. Augustine Amphitheater, adjacent to the larger venue.
Created by former Ringling Bros. Ringmaster Kevin Venardos (veh-NARR-dos), the Venardos Circus wraps world-class circus acts into a Broadway Musical-style format that is called “the American Circus with the heart of a Broadway Show.” The group recently completed a series of shows in Las Vegas and arrives in St. Augustine with aerialists, acrobats, comedians, juggling, balancing, daredevilry and performers hailing from around the world. The Broadway-style singing and dancing adds another level of intrigue to the performance.
The Venardos Circus’ St. Augustine visit fills a void and is timely. The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus closed in May after 146 years of entertaining. A new 20th Century Fox film musical that portrays the career of P.T. Barnum, entitled “The Greatest Showman,” starring Hugh Jackman as Barnum and with Zac Efron and Michelle Williams, is scheduled for a Dec. 20 release.
The Venardos Circus has some similarity to the film. At age 22, living in New York to pursue an acting and singing career after graduating from Ithaca College, Kevin Venardos answered an ad in Backstage magazine for an audition with Ringling Bros. The son of a former CBS News executive sang a couple songs, read some lines and was hired as the 33rd Ringling Bros. Ringmaster, where he worked from 2000-2005. That job and the adventures that followed changed the course of his life forever, and inspired Venardos to start his own circus. Kevin and his wife Diana, a former dancer at Disneyland, run the Venardos Circus operation together, traveling from coast to coast.
“We are the future of the American Circus, live and in person,” Venardos said. “We’re keeping that tradition of fun alive. The magic of storytelling, music and incredible human feats is timeless and vital. But it’s the way we stitch these elements together, with a kind of Broadway twist, that really surprises and delights our audience. It is the circus of the future. And to see it all under this intimate, beautiful tent is something you really have to experience firsthand.”
An interactive pre-show party takes place one hour before show time with opportunities to meet the cast, snap selfies and play games. The main event lasts approximately 90 minutes, with a brief intermission. Shows run Wednesday through Sunday for the entire engagement, with multiple show times on weekends.
Tickets are $25 for adult General Admission, $15 for youth and seniors, with a $35 V.I.P. experience available which includes front-row seats. Groups of 15 or more may call (323) 790-4827 to take advantage of special discounts.