Thinking about the circus usually conjures up visions of large elephants in colorful head gear, a lion tamer in a big black top hat, and far too many clowns packed into a tiny car. Am I right? Aren’t circuses just something we do to keep the kids entertained?
But not all circuses are created equal. “Circus Oz: From the Ground Up” – running now through Feb. 23 at Boston’s Shubert Theatre – is not your average circus. Presented by the National Circus of Australia, “Circus Oz” is a family-friendly, animal-free circus performance that incorporates amazing stunts, rock ‘n’ roll, and irreverent humor into the show. Not convinced? Here are five reasons “Circus Oz” isn’t just for kids and will provide just as much fun for adults.
1. There’s a live band on stage
No irritating, cartoony circus music for this group. It’s all rock 'n’ roll. Carl Polke, both the musical director and one of the musicians, sports a beard that one of the members of ZZ Top might don. And how often do you see an amplified piano hanging precariously above the stage?
2. It’s actually funny
“Circus Oz” prides itself in promoting “the best of the Australian spirit,” and this includes irreverent humor. Expect lots of sexual innuendoes and jokes that only the adults in the crowd will get.
3. No clowns
Let’s face it: Does anyone really like clowns? They wear big, bright pants and way too much make up. And well, they’re creepy. The only clown you’ll encounter in this circus is Mark Sheppard, who isn’t sure if he’s a clown (he wears a red nose), a construction worker, or a cowboy. It actually seems like he’s more confused about which member of The Village People he wants to be.
4. No spandex
When you think of the death-defying feats encountered at the circus, you might imagine acrobats dressed in super tight-fitting leotards. Spandex is a thing of the past in this circus. Since the setting for the performance is a construction site, the team attempts their high (and low) tumbles, jumps, and everything in between in their construction gear – hard hats and all.
5. Don’t expect your average circus stunts
A moving high wire, a large bearded man gliding across the stage inside of a gigantic metal ring, a woman who juggles a card table with her feet, and more. These are just a few of the not-so-typical stunts you can expect on stage at “Circus Oz."
Check out photos for a behind-the-scenes look at "Circus Oz."
“Circus Oz” runs now through Feb. 23 at the Shubert Theatre, 265 Tremont St, Boston. (617) 482-9393. www.citicenter.org
Have you seen “Circus Oz”? What did you think of it? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Stephanie Callahan is a native Bostonian who loves cooking, traveling, spa treatments, and being on the ocean.
Meghan Colloton is a Bostonian who loves traveling, channeling her inner Julia Child, and trying weird things -- from food to bungee jumping.
Milva DiDomizio is a New England native who's fond of cooking, singing, and Boston's arts and culture scene.
Rachel Raczka is a Bostonian who enjoys buttercream frosting, gin cocktails, and conquering cobblestone streets in high heels.
Emily Sweeney is a Boston native who goes out all over, from Irish pubs in Southie to the roller rink in Dorchester.
Emily Wright is a native Cape Codder who enjoys exercising, baking, and the occasional guilty pleasure action movie.