Fans of the mysterious and unusual are in luck, as Mr. Swindle's Peculiarium and Drink-Ory Garden is returning to Sarasota in January. The immersive show, which transports guests to a bygone era, features sensational displays of acrobatics, daring stunts and comedy. Taking place in a brand-new tent, a specially designed “odd-itorium in the round,” each seat in the house offers views of peculiar performances curated to inspire awe and spark imaginations. The tour will also be making stops in Englewood and Punta Gorda.
Mr. Swindle's Peculiarium is produced by Englewood-based Salto Entertainment. The company was founded by Ivan España, who recognized that while the area is home to a number of remarkable performers—a nod to the region's circus heritage—there are very few opportunities to showcase their talents locally. As a fifth-generation performer himself (the España family is recognized in St. Armands Circus Ring of Fame), España sought to develop an experience that celebrated world-class talent from home and abroad.
“This year's cast is filled with absurd characters who will take audiences through a journey of fantasy, frivolity and a feast for the senses,” says Allison Blei, the show's co-producer. The line-up features international and home-grown talent, including Sian España, who started performing motorcycle stunts when he was four, delights audiences with acrobatic feats on the German wheel and plays the accordion. Trapeze artists Duo Rose are coming all the way from Germany to showcase their romantic, gravity-defying demonstrations of grace and strength. The cast of characters also includes contortionists, comedians, aerial silk artists and, of course, the mysterious Mr. B.S. Swindle himself.
And what of this “drink-ory?” An hour before showtime, guests will have the opportunity to lounge under twinkling lights and listen to old-timey music in a festively decorated outdoor beer garden. There will also be food prepared by local chef Zil Wolfgang, including truffle fries, ahi tuna poke or mini chicken-and-waffle bites. An assortment of Freakshow wines and a wide selection of domestic, import and craft beers will also be available. There are even opportunities to rub elbows with the talent, who've been known to slip in to the beer garden and mingle with the audience prior to the show. Keep an eye out for that trickster, Dr. Elixir!
Mr. Swindle's Peculiarium and Drink-Ory Garden will run Jan. 23 through Feb. 1 at the Sarasota Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Blvd, Sarasota. Tickets can be purchased here or by calling (941) 445 7309.