Circus Vargas returns to Fresno for the first time since 2009 with a new magic-themed show.
"Magikaria! A Fantastical Magical Experience" runs Thursday, Oct. 3, through Oct. 7 under a big-top tent in a lot by the Save Mart Center.
"We are really excited to come back to the Fresno area," says Katya Quiroga, owner of Circus Vargas with husband Nelson Quiroga. "It's just a fun, fast-paced show."
Billed as one of the world's largest traveling circuses that still uses a big-top tent, Circus Vargas focuses more on human spectacles than animal entertainment.
The Magikara! show, for example, features illusionist Patrick Gable, who performs some large illusions, including one in a fire cage.
Some show highlights include:
The Flying Tabares aerialists from Argentina perform on the trapeze. In 2004, the Tabares performed for the Royal Family of Monaco at the International Circus Festival in Monte Carlo. They were awarded the prestigious Golden Crown statuette by Princess Stephanie of Monaco.
"There are eight of them," Quiroga says. "It's a unique fast-paced, double trapeze act that goes back and forth."
Human rocket Leo Garcia of Mexico catapults 70 feet into an air bag during the show. Fewer than 10 people perform that feat in circuses, Quiroga says.
Motorcyclists also race in a "Thunder Globe" cage.
Quiroga says Circus Vargas is different than other circuses in that it allows audiences to get up close to view the show. The big-top tent seats 1,500.
"The whole experience is up close and personal," she says. "We just don't perform to the masses. When we perform, we can look at the faces of children and see them up close."
Circus Vargas also seeks to be interactive with audiences. There is a preshow 30 minutes before the performance. Children can stand inside the ring and learn circus skills from Circus Vargas performers, including Matti the Clown.
Quiroga says Circus Vargas is aimed at all ages — kids and adults.
"Magikaria! A Fantastical Magical Experience," 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Oct. 3-4; 2, 5 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5 ; 1, 4 and 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6; and 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7; under a big-top tent in a lot by the Save Mart Center. Tickets cost $20-$65. circusvargas.com or (877) 468-3861.
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