Hurry! The Summer Circus Spectacular will be wrapping up its eight-week run in The Ringling's Historic Asolo Theater this Saturday, Aug. 3. The show is an annual partnership between the museum and The Sarasota Circus Arts Conservatory, and continues to draw large audiences.
The hour-long show is fast-paced and dynamic, with four different acts along with two clowns and a ringmaster. From hand-balancing masters to aerial daredevils, the performers all have impressive résumés, with some holding Guinness World Records and others who have appeared on popular shows like America's Got Talent and Good Morning America.
The unique aspect of this show for the performers is that they get to remain at the same venue for eight straight weeks, unusual in the circus world, since acts usually only remain in each city for a few nights. Last Friday afternoon, we got the chance to talk with a few of the performers after the show about their time in Sarasota.
Slappy and Monday, the husband-and-wife clown duo of Tiffany Riley and Dick Monday, came to Sarasota from their home base of Dallas, Texas. Monday attended the old Ringling clown college at the beginning of his career, when it was located in Venice. When they're not clowning around, you can find them enjoying a meal at one of Sarasota’s many restaurants (Owen’s Fish Camp is a favorite) or taking in rays at Lido Beach.
Hula hoop artist Alesya Gulevich calls Sarasota a “mecca” for circus performers. “It’s so amazing being here, I am able to reconnect with lots of old friends who now live here full-time,” Gulevich says. “And, of course, being in a town that has such a longstanding and unique circus history, along with performing at the Ringling, is just such a wonderful experience.”
Showtimes are 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 2 and 5 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $16 for adults and $12 for children 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased here. The theater is located inside The Ringling, at 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota.