Thursday night we (Anne, Joanie and I) went to see, Circus Flora. Circus Flora is a one ring circus that is based here in Saint Louis. It has a base camp in Faust Park, out in West County. Over the years, the show has gone on at various places around town. The venue, where they pitched their tent this year, was Grand Center.
Circus Flora is an ensemble, one-ring circus. There is only one circus ring, as you can see in the picture above. The audience is very close to the action, sometimes too close. Ask the gentleman, front row, far right; the clowns were merciless on Thursday night. The cast is an ensemble, they work together, members of one act supports another.
Circus Flora is founded on a cadre that has been around as long as I have been going to see them. One of them is Yo-Yo, the show’s “narrator”, pictured below. The name Flora comes from an elephant that was a member of the cast for many years. Flora was a juvenile African elephant. She was eventually returned to Africa and is no longer part of the show, but her name lives on.
Each year’s Circus Flora show usually has a theme. This year’s theme was a send up to the Cirque Medrano, a ninetieth century, Paris circus. In this year’s show there was lots of can-can dancing going on.
Anne and Joanie have been going to the circus religiously, while I had lapsed for a few years. Here are my observations. The cadre has gotten older, one wonder’s about a secession plan? The performance level of the show has gotten higher. Of course the cadre has perfected their personas, but even the kids, The Saint Louis Arches, are way better then I remember them. The hired acts are better too.
The Flying Wallendas are back with their high wire act, but with a smaller family cast, they are no longer the headliner. This show’s headliners are The Flying Pages, trapeze artists. Their elaborate setup reminds us of why the Ringling Brothers went with three rings. They close the show. There is also a Sasha back in the show and he is both younger and studlier then his predecessor.
I am not naturally a circus person, but I was impressed. The show has grown from its homegrown roots. It is a show that you could take on the road anywhere. Three cheers for the circus! Now how do I explain this summer’s leave of absence, especially with my fear of heights?