SARASOTA, FL – Circus fans of all ages, from near and far, can beat the heat this summer at reasonable prices while experiencing the best of the circus arts, thanks to the continued partnership of The Circus Arts Academy and The Ringling. The Summer Circus Spectacular returns this year, with some of the circus world’s most exciting acts signed on for the one-hour, action-packed show.
The 2023 Summer Circus Spectacular – which has become a seasonal highlight for locals, visitors, families and groups alike – takes place at the Historic Asolo Theater at The Ringling (5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota) from June 9 through August 12.
“This show not only offers an affordable entertainment option for all ages but is also the perfect summer family-friendly activity. Being able to showcase circus talent at The Ringling Historic Asolo Theater makes it one of the most memorable and unique performances in town,” said CAC Executive Vice President/COO Jennifer Mitchell. “All of our shows throughout the year bring circus talent from around the world as well as top artists here in the U.S. With daytime and evening options available at The Ringling, there will always be a convenient time to come and enjoy the magic of the circus arts!”
The lineup for the Summer Circus Spectacular includes:
Heidi Herriott, Master of Ceremonies: Herriott is proud of her heritage as a third-generation American circus artist. She has traveled North America performing as an aerialist, equestrian and ringmaster. Career highlights include appearing on “America’s Got Talent,” Studio 54 Night Club, Animal Planet, Walt Disney World, Ringling Bros. Circus, Circus Sarasota, Big Apple Circus, Excalibur/Las Vegas, and more.
The Alexis Brothers, Hand Balancers: Performing together for more than 40 years, brothers Marco and Paulo Lorador have demonstrated their strength, beauty and balance around the world – from a command performance before Queen Elizabeth, to the most prestigious circus festivals in Europe, to their legendary 25-year stint with Cirque du Soleil. They earned top honors at the Monte Carlo International Circus Festival in their early teens and have collaborated on several projects with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Born into a circus family, their incredible journey began at ages 7 and 9, working under the Big Top with their father, Alexander. As a tribute to him, they perform as The Alexis Brothers. They have previously performed with Circus Sarasota (2021) and now come to the Summer Circus Spectacular for the very first time.
Serge Sergeev & Aurika Annaeva, Crystal Balance: Serge and Aurika are second-generation, worldwide traveling performers. They have presented their art in different genres, such as acrobatics, juggling, dancing, and horseback riding. They have showcased their many talents in countries all over the world, including France, Australia, China, Singapore, Brazil, and Argentina. They have participated in many tours as well as been featured on multiple TV shows. Together in 2013, they created their Crystal Balance act, which they love performing for audiences.
Dick Monday & Slappy, Clowning: Dick Monday and Tiffany Riley have headlined circuses and festivals worldwide for many years. They co-founded the New York Goofs Clown Troupe and the Laughter League, a nonprofit organization dedicated to uplifting lives with humor through performance outreach and education. Riley pursued a master’s degree that she used as a springboard for writing the book, “Beyond the Red Nose: The Serious Business of Healthcare Clowning.” Monday has been a highly respected teacher of clowning since 1988 and was the dean of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College. The pair continue to partner on and off-stage, seeking to not only continue clowning but also to inspire a new generation of clowns through education and performance opportunities.
Tersit Asefa Dersu, Bounce Juggler: Dersu grew up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and currently resides in Seattle, Wash. She has been involved in professional circus since early childhood and was trained and certified by the Ethio Selam circus school in Ethiopia. She has been performing her unique solo form of bounce juggling professionally for over 12 years on different circus stages around the world, including Egypt (International Circus); Eilat, Israel (Wow Show); European tour (Mother Africa show); the Caribbean (Suarez Brothers Circus); U.S. tour (Dream Holidays); and Denver, Colo. (Spirit of Christmas).
Garrett Allen, Aerial Rope: Allen, who hails from San Diego, Calif., began his circus journey at the age of 10. Learning handstands, aerial acts, contortion, dance and other forms of performance art, he began showcasing his skills throughout California and neighboring states from a very young age. At 18, he began performing in various festivals, theaters, touring shows, night clubs, theme parks and cruise ships around the world. Now 28, he is grateful and excited to resume traveling and performing in a post-pandemic world.
“It is such a pleasure and an honor to bring a live, professional circus show to the beautiful Historic Asolo Theater at The Ringling, which works to preserve the history and legacy of the circus,” said CAC founder and president/CEO Pedro Reis. “Our missions are so closely aligned – we both strive to inspire, educate and entertain. Our collaboration has provided immeasurable joy for thousands of circus fans over the years.”
The show runs Friday, June 9 – Saturday, August 12, 2023. Show times are 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Tickets are $20/adults, $13 children (12 and under); tickets for the 7 p.m. opening night performance and celebration on Friday, June 9 – which includes a gala reception with the artists – are $50.
To complete their circus experience, Summer Circus Spectacular patrons can enjoy access to the Circus Museum on the day they attend a show for just an additional $5 – an incredible value for a full day’s entertainment. Visit Ringling.org or call the Box Office at (941) 360-7399.
About Circus Arts Conservatory
The mission of the Circus Arts Conservatory is to engage and educate students using unique and innovative learning programs; to measurably improve the quality of life for individuals in care facilities; and to advance the extraordinary legacy and heritage of the circus. The CAC is home to world-class performances, excellence in training the circus arts, and community-based education and humor therapy outreach programs. Visit CircusArts.org or call (941) 355-9335.
About The Ringling
As the State Art Museum of Florida and part of Florida State University, The Ringling is Florida’s center for the arts, history, and learning. Bringing the past and contemporary culture to life through extraordinary visitor experiences, The Ringling is a place of exploration, discovery, and respite. The Ringling’s campus in Sarasota, Florida – which includes the Museum of Art, the Circus Museum, a historic mansion, an 18th century theater and Bayfront Gardens – is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Visit Ringling.org.