August 3-19, 2012
Artistic Director: Elizabeth “Betty” Butler
SHOWDOWN – 2012 Summer Show Summary
Mail-order brides, suffragettes and painted belles of the night. Fearless outlaws, greedy prospectors, and courageous sheriffs. The stuff of Wild West legends raised a ruckus under the big top in 2012, as the legendary characters of the late 1800s collided in the windswept town of Tumbleweed. It all started with the story of Wyatt Earp, who went down in history as a dedicated, tough and deadly law enforcer, revered for his keen eye and quick shot in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. At the other end of the law-abidin’ spectrum: Billy the Kid, known for his frontier outlaw escapades and lithe, like-able ways. Additional pioneer cast included everyone from revered rapscallions Black Bart and Belle Starr to the nameless gold-hunters, rascals and saloon dancers that gave a booming era its lawless reputation. With its gritty setting and lightning-fast turns of fortune, the Gold Rush was the perfect stage for our circus acts, with blaze-lit mines illuminated by fire jugglers, veins of pure gold stretching skyward on our silks, and twists of luck in the form of contorting decks of cards. Celebrity-met-revelry with Lillie Langtry’s dance revue on hoops, while our Spanish web interwove dance and dange personified by our wicked Wild Bunch women. Audiences were drawn into timeless themes of true love vs. bad ideas, greed vs. generosity, hearts of gold, nerves of steel and the spirit that drives someone to chase a dream.
…Circus Juventas performances are not quite like the professionals, but they’re pretty close… The featured performers of the show (older kids who have been training for a while) are captivating and the major acts are incredible. The show includes the Walendas’ spectacular seven person tightrope walk as well as flaming whips, balancing acts and unicycle stunts…
…It’s great to watch these kids maneuver through a web of bungee cords with the dexterity of Spider-Man, or thrill us with spine-tingling drops and rebounds. This year’s extravaganza explores the lighter side of the Wild West with plenty of wholesome saloon girls, high-flying outlaws, and mail-order brides who can handle a bicycle built for 10 with aplomb…