Just before Summer arrives each year the iconic red big top of Circus Flora pops up behind Powell Symphony Hall to provide a refreshing (it's air-conditioned inside) and entertaining show that mixes a specific theme with various performing acts. It's a unique kind of circus play that never fails to thrill and delight audiences, young and old alike. I've taken my son and wife with me every year that I've been able to attend since I started reviewing theatre in St. Louis, and I'm constantly amazed by the quality of talent that we're privy to when Circus Flora presents their annual production. This year the title is TIME FLIES, and it's a funny mix of time travel and rainmaking that features some wonderful acts we've all grown to know and to love to newcomers that bring their own flair to the proceedings. Come down and check out the frivolity running through June 25, 2017. It's truly a family-friendly, and scary clown-free, experience!

So, a character called the tinker is given a magical book by a mysterious rainmaker that cannot be opened for 80 years, which would eclipse the life span of its recipient. He conjures up an unusual method of time-traveling that utilizes an umbrella and a teapot that transport him to the future where he encounters his own grandson. He opens the book and a deluge begins. In order to restore order to his destination he must travel backwards and undo his activities. But, in doing so, he also has to break up a romance that has developed between a beautiful girl and his grandson.

Within that framework we get to see an array of mind bending physical dexterity that includes: the awe inspiring tight rope walking wonders known for years as The Flying Wallendas; the amusing foot balancing antics and high flying trapeze work of The Poemas; the astonishing acrobatics of The St. Louis Arches, and Sindney "Iking" Bateman; the thoroughly amusing work of juggler and comedian Adam Kuchlar; Sasha Harrington's gymnastic endeavors; Andrea Murillo's captivating movements along with Kyle Driggs' amazing manipulations of various objects; and Heidi Herriot's cute horse act. And, it's all narrated by Cecil Mackinnon's recurring character, Yo-Yo.

It's set to the pulse of musical director Janine Del' Arte's work with the Circus Flora Band, with compositions by Del' Arte and Miriam Cutler. Hovey Burges acts as dramaturg, and Cecil Mackinnon directs the action in the center ring. Sarah Pearline (scenic design), Jesse Alford (lighting), and Nina Reed (costumes) create the environment for the show. All under the guidance of artistic director Jack Marsh and executive director Larry Mabrey, as well as tentmaster, Michael Leclair.

As always, Circus Flora never disappoints. TIME FLIES is a genuinely fun time that will appeal to a broad range of people. Check it out in Grand Center through June 25, 2017.

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From This Author Chris Gibson

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