Now in its 54th year, Circus Vazquez, the largest family-owned circus in the US, currently run by the five third-generation Vazquez brothers, is touring with an all-new 2023 show, in what is presently the country’s largest climate-controlled traveling big-top tent, designed with its signature blue-and-white logo. Featuring a new cast of international circus stars (all human, no animals) from Mexico, Columbia, Mongolia, Chile, Ukraine, India, Italy, and the US, the show (formerly in Spanish, but now in English) is playing this week at the Woodbridge Center in New Jersey and will continue its tour in NYC, with its first-ever stop on Randall’s Island, followed by a return to Queens over the next two months.
Filled with laughs and thrills, the sensational acts are focused on hilarious clowning and stunning feats of bodily dexterity, with acrobatics and dance, trapeze and teeterboard artistry, juggling, unicycling, and pole balancing, all accompanied by the live Circus Vazquez Band and enhanced with colorful lighting and dazzling video projections that capture the spirit of the performers, their homelands, and their special circus skills.
Italy’s award-winning clown duo of Fumagalli and Davis warmed up the crowd and returned throughout the show to keep everyone in stitches with their brand of outrageous comedy and audience interaction. Among their wild and wacky bits were getting drunk on a bottle of vodka and spewing it from their mouths onto each other (and those in the front rows!), unwittingly conducting the orchestra from below, and instructing two volunteers in a western-style gun fight, while miming the steps they should take and providing the sound effects.
The clowning was interspersed with breathtaking acts of physical prowess, including a fluid mix of graceful dance and acrobatic mastery by Ukraine’s Bingo Troupe, founded in Kiev in 1996 by Irina German, who also serves as choreographer; the daring aerial display of Chilean trapeze artist Camila Palma, the sixth generation of a circus family who first took the stage at age five, swinging high above the circus ring without a safety net below; and India’s Hasan Ansari showcasing his extraordinary control, strength, and balance on the rarely seen Pole Mallakhamb, a traditional Indian sport in which an acrobatic gymnast performs aerial yoga and gymnastic postures on an upright stationary wooden pole.
Also wowing the audience with their phenomenal dexterity were the Reyes Brothers from Chile, in daily training since they were seven, demonstrating their fast-paced juggling of clubs and rings, both individually and together, and even switching positions with one another while their objects were in the air; unicycle master Pavel Valla Bertini, raised in Spain of Czech-British heritage, not only jumping up and down the metal steps of a platform on his single cycle wheel, but then building up to a three- and a fifteen-wheel vertical cycle, on which he balanced and rode around the circus ring (he’s also the father of three, grooming the next generation of unicyclists); and Mongolia’s astonishing ten-member Teeterboard Legion M Troupe with their stylized movements, flips, somersaults, and propulsion via teeterboard through the air to land on a seat atop a high thin pole, which left the viewers gasping.
In addition to enjoying the terrific performances, the audience had many opportunities before and after the show and during intermission to have their photos taken with members of the cast, to treat themselves to popcorn, churros, and a variety of other tasty snacks, and to take home glowing light sticks and other souvenirs to keep the excitement going.
If you can’t make it to NJ to see this thrilling fun-filled family show, the upcoming dates for Circus Vazquez in NYC are November 17-December 4, at Icahn Stadium on Randalls Island (10 Central Road), and December 8, 2023-January 7, 2024, at Citifield in Queens (123-01 Roosevelt Ave.). It’s great entertainment for all ages, so be sure to catch it when the blue-and-white big-top comes to a location near you.
Running Time: Approximately two hours and five minutes, including an intermission.