Circus Vargas: A show for the whole family

Circus Vargas: A show for the whole family

Circus Vargas IS circus. If you want to get the feel and flavor
of what a real circus is all about, Circus Vargas is the ticket
with a modern splash.
Circus Vargas IS circus. If you want to get the feel and flavor of what a real circus is all about, Circus Vargas is the ticket with a modern splash.

Created from a dream of Clifford E. Vargas in 1969, Circus Vargas has evolved to a more modern species with new, forward-looking owners, while still holding onto the thread that makes it a true old-fashioned circus.

The key word for this whole production is friendliness. From the time you enter the modern big blue top to being seated, all staff are relaxed, helpful, pleasant and – interestingly enough – mostly related to one another. This is a REAL family circus, where almost everyone belongs to the family, from the performers to the ushers, to the ticket and concession sellers. There is a relaxed and laid-back feeling that permeates the whole area, while still giving off the anticipation of the circus.

To my delight, this is an intimate, one-ring circus. I usually go bonkers trying to keep track of three rings and, best of all, this is a completely vegetarian presentation. There is not even a pampered poodle in sight. (What a relief. I have always been uncomfortable watching elephants, lions and tigers doing things they really do not want to do.)

Circus Vargas embraces the idea that the circus is really for kids. It delights little ones more than its counterparts that present circuses on different levels. This is the most kid-friendly traveling circus anywhere. It involves toddlers to teens, giving them the thrill of a lifetime when actually participating in the fun and fantasy. With a little good-natured prodding, adults are also incorporated in an amusing section that entertains without anyone losing his or her dignity.

All the performers seem to enjoy themselves and there is a joie de vie in their presentation. Hitting their mark is important, but it seems more important to have fun while getting there. They fly, they dance, they spin, they balance stuff and they spoof. Their one talented clown doesn’t waste time. He gets his job done to the delight of the audience. And where else are you going to find an endearing African-American ringmaster with glasses who mans a set of drums for that extra beat. (Utterly charming.)

Circus Vargas may not be as bombastic and glittery as some of its counterparts, but it sure entertains. Best of all, you leave that big top with a good, relaxed feeling that all is right with the world. In this day and age that’s worth the price of admission.

***

Circus Vargas

– Where: Flea Market on Berryessa Road, San Jose

– Through: Aug. 15

– Tickets: $15-$60

– Details: 877-GOTFUN1 or 877-4768-3861 or visit www.circusvargas.com.

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