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'No clowning': Summer Circus Spectacular returns in full force to Sarasota

Organizers have promised a world-class family-friendly show packed with incredible entertainment.

SARASOTA, Fla. — The Summer Circus Spectacular returns to Sarasota in full fashion.

The 9-week-long event takes place at the Historic Asolo Theater starting June 10 and will run through Aug. 13.

The return of the show kicks off the start of circus productions returning to Sarasota which is known for its reputation as the "Circus Capital of The World."

The show is a partnership between the non-profit Circus Arts Conservatory and Ringling. Organizers have promised a world-class family-friendly show packed with incredible entertainment. They said the audience should expect a mixture of traditional and contemporary circus performances.

"We blend it together in a seamless effort and so the outcome is this magical circus show," Pedro Reis, President/CEO, Circus Arts Conservatory, said.

"Yeah this show is a fantastic show we have performers from all over the world," Chris Allison said.

Allison is one of the circus performers and plays a clown with lots of tricks and gimmicks up his sleeve.

"I've been doing Circus for a long time and the acts are top-notch. I think I'm the weak link in the shop and I'm pretty good," he joked.

As with many productions, the circus was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was canceled in 2020 and only ran for two weeks in 2021.

With some semblance of normalcy returning and venues getting booked and selling out, performers get two full months to show off their talent and earn money from the Circus.

"Economically, it's good for the artist," Reis said. "They make a living, they are doing what they love to do, the artistry. For us, we are producing the show and we keeping a brand alive."

The Summer Circus Spectacular is not the only show making a full comeback. Another popular circus, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey show is scheduled to return in 2023 but without animals as performers.

"You should expect big things and funny things," Allison said.

The show kicks off on June 10 and runs through August 13. 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 $18 for adults and $12 for children 12 and younger.

RELATED: It's back: Ringling Bros. Circus to return without animals in 2023

RELATED: Circus Sarasota 2022 debuts under the big top Friday

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" and with Studio 54 Nightclub, Animal Planet, Walt Disney World, Ringling Bros. Circus, Circus Sarasota, Big Apple Circus, Excalibur/Las Vegas, and more.

Chris Allison, Comedy: Allison was 12 years old when he took a school field trip to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey (RBBB) Circus that left him determined that he would grow up and become a clown with the Greatest Show On Earth®. After graduating from the RBBB Clown College with a major in pie-throwing and a minor in pratfalls, he spent the next 11 years touring with the circus, the final three years as the Boss Clown. Since leaving the show, he has toured all across the U.S. as well as internationally. He has been seen on MTV's “Road Rules,” MTV'S “ODDVILLE,” Natalie Merchant's music video for her hit song "Kind and Generous," “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “The Today Show,” “Emeril Live,” Comedy Central’s “Strangers with Candy,” “The Late Show with David Letterman,” and he was a semi-finalist on “America’s Got Talent.”

Credit: Summer Circus Spectacular
'Clown' Chris Allison is one of the performers at Summer Circus Spectacular

Olga Coronas and Holly Legare, Duo Lyra: This aerial dream team is honored to bring their aesthetically-pleasing artistic fusion of dance and aerial acrobatics to Sarasota. Coronas, an accomplished, professional aerialist, and Legare, an award-winning dancer, have joined forces to create a beautiful, captivating performance that’s sure to inspire audiences.

Credit: Summer Circus Spectacular
Aerialists Olga Coronas and Holly Legare perform together as 'Duo Lyra'

Dust In the Wind, Hand Balance Adagio: Seida Maite Ramírez Lobaina and Julio Fajardo Arjona are artistic partners who have taken their act to the next level. Their hand-to-hand balancing and adagio act have taken them all over the world and seen them earn many prestigious awards. Among their many accolades, they have been invited to the elite Monte Carlo International Circus Festival in 2023.

Abrehem Mola, Rolla Bolla: As an agile and athletic youth born and raised in Ethiopia, Mola was destined for his art. At the age of 12, he joined the first of many circuses, performing as an acrobat and juggler before perfecting his rolla bolla routine. Since then, he has been a sought-after artist, thrilling audiences while performing all over the world in circuses and festivals. He came to the United States to perform in 2016 and has since made the U.S. his home.

Credit: Summer Circus Spectacular
Abrehem Mola, Rolla Bolla, acrobat and juggler

Ricardo Sosa, Hand Balance Contortion: Sosa hails from Havana, Cuba; he began studying ballet at the age of 6. He went on to train in the state-sanctioned circus school in Cuba. Three years into his professional career, he became a highly-regarded teacher and mentor: his students have gone on to win many national competitions. Offered his first U.S. contract with an American circus in 1999, he has since performed in circuses all over the U.S. and Europe as well as in Las Vegas nightclubs and hotels. He now resides permanently in Miami, Fla. but still performs all over the 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 been such an organic and fulfilling effort.”

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