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Sunday, August 14, 2011


Going to the circus as a child was never one of my favorite things to do. I would not say I was afraid of the clowns, but I did not appreciate their antics. The animals seemed sad in their forced acts. As an adult, however, the single Cirque du Soleil performance I have witnessed left me breathless.

So did the Circus Juventas performance of Grimm I attended on Friday evening. Lauren Stringer masterfully wove together six Grimm fairytales to create the script for the show, and I found myself so engrossed in the stories that the words, artistry, costumes, and actions mingled perfectly to tell the tales. I unknowingly held my breath during physically challenging feats. My hands were clasped and jaw was clenched when characters struggled for independence, emotions evident in their faces and bodies. I laughed at expressions and wit.

The young performers exhibited an even greater degree of fortitude and endurance than their more famous counterparts, participating in act after act with strength of body and character.

As my son and I and our dear friend Joyce exited the show, a cloudy night-sky partially hid the almost-full moon. It felt mystical, an extension of the three hours of magic we had witnessed under the circus tent. We hugged Joyce in farewell, and my son exclaimed, "We have to do this every year." Indeed. I will go again eagerly.


  1. Circus Juventas IS magical, isn't it? I was awed the first time I attended, and I've been back several times. I remember leaving the show filled with creative energy, the way I feel after reading a particularly well-crafted book. Wouldn't you have liked to been part of something like that when you were growing up? I'm sorry I missed this year's performance as the theme was especially intriguing to me and I heard Lauren's script was marvelous.

  2. It was a magical night, and I'm so glad that Noah enjoyed it. I especially loved sitting next to you and gasping together with motherly concern when those young athletes soared and teetered. They were stupendous. Lauren gives her heart and soul to this troupe (and her paintbrush, too)!

  3. Joyce and I wondered, David, if we could have done what those young people did. It was both awe-inspiring and scary! Lauren's script was wonderful, and her set painting was lovely!