A year and a half since its big top tent was last unfurled, Venardos Circus resumed its breathtaking act before adoring crowds in Littleton.
The Florida-based traveling circus, founded in 2014 by former Ringling Bros. ringmaster Kevin Venardos, is hitting the road again for the first time since the pandemic upended life, starting with a series of (nearly) sold-out shows at the Aspen Grove shopping center.
On opening night on July 14, Venardos took the stage to introduce his plucky troupe of acrobats and performers.
“Dreams have a way of bringing good people together,” Venardos said.
Performers included aerialists and acrobats Lexi Powell, Eric Allen, Lady Beast, and husband-and-wife team Duo Acosta, performing a dizzying array of stunts, culminating in a Houdini-esque straitjacket escape.
The old-school circus performs beneath a classic red-and-white striped tent, and the whole shebang carries a vintage Vaudeville flair.
In an age with plenty of ways to be entertained, Venardos Circus commanded a captivated and giddy audience, who at the end of the show leaped to their feet for a standing ovation.
“It was just the perfect welcome back to living life again,” said Karin Leonard, who brought her mom and a friend for one of their first outings in ages. “What a circus. When I retire I’m running away to join them.”
Venardos told the crowd that the magic of the circus is a chance to remember the joy of connection.
“The way the last year has gone, it felt like we’ve been looking away from each other,” he said. “But when you look at the faces of these performers, they’re of people who are different sizes and shapes and colors working together to make something we hope you find beautiful. We hope it reminds you of yourselves, your families, your community. You can make something special too.”
Venardos Circus will host numerous performances in Littleton through July 25, though tickets are quickly growing scarce. From there the show will move on to Longmont and Colorado Springs.
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