Last weekend, I was invited to bring my family to a performance of the UniverSoul Circus! It was an awesome opportunity and one that we all looked forward to because we had been to that circus before (actually, with Chatterbox but before I had Giggles) and we had a blast. The circus folks were super-accommodating and even managed to get us tickets to an earlier show than the one planned so that I could get my troops home and in bed at their normal bedtime. [Respect the nap, right? Well, you've gotta respect bedtime too!] I invited Giggles' Godmother to come along with us and Justice Ny's daughter and mother as well -that was the same day as Justice Ny's birthday and so she was able to enjoy an afternoon with her hubby while her daughter enjoyed the circus.
We were greeted by Paula Murphy, the Executive Vice President of the circus, and she took us to our amazing ringside seats and set us up with more refreshments than we could eat. By this point, we could feel the energy in the air and the kids were excited! The tent was packed with people, young and old, who were ready to have a good time. And what a good time we had! The show was big fun from beginning to end. The "ringmaster" was a grandma from Around the Way and she was a riot. I still can't stop laughing when I think of her belting out the lyrics to Soulja Boy's "Turn My Swag On" - wig, cane, saggy pantyhose and all. From the China Soul Flyers on the trapeze to the Magic Comedy Act performed by Wandi & Sifiso to the Contortionists from Guinea to the fearless artists on the Wheel of Death, it was all thoroughly entertaining and there was something for everyone to enjoy. And don't let me forget the tigers and horses, and even elephants that the kids could ride during intermission! The highlight of the event for me was definitely the Caribbean Carnival portion of the program where the Zante Trini Zante dancers from Trinidad & Tobago played "Mas" and limbo'd under flames and stilt walkers defied gravity. Throughout the entire show the music was electrifying and the energetic vibe infectious.
Once the show was over - not before a side-splitting Old School vs. New School singing contest - we were invited to take a VIP tour of the behind-the-scenes area of the circus, guided by Ben Johnson the circus's Director of Operations, along with the other invited bloggers. My friend Smiling Mama was there, and I met some new bloggy friends, including Teia from DC Mama and Racine from BudgetFab. The tour was both educational and fun and we got an up close and personal look at the performers and were given the chance to take photos with them and ask questions. What struck me the most about the entire experience was the true international nature of the circus. There were performers from all over the globe: from Asia to Africa to South America to the Caribbean to Atlanta, GA - and they all considered one another family.
I can't say enough about the circus and the people who make it happen. This show is a must-see for your entire family! If you live in the DC Metro Area, the show will be playing until May 31 and with upcoming shows in cities like Baltimore, Norfolk, Greensboro, Columbia, Indianapolis, Houston, and Birmingham, Memphis, Cincinnati and Chicago, there's bound to be a showing near you! So you've gotta go. Because really, at what other circus can you both see a moving tribute to Barack Obama and shake your groove thang to Beyonce?
Oh and be sure to check out the UniverSoul Circus blog and their Facebook page. It really is the most interactive circus in the world.
Thanks Paula, Ben, Kristin and Monica! You all rock and we had a really great time.