The one-ring Circus Bella just opened its 13th Annual Free Summer Show, FLIP*FLOP*FLY, which is currently touring parks from Reno to Laguna Beach, with most of its dates here in the Bay Area. I saw the noon show in San Francisco's Yerba Buena Gardens on Saturday, with Circus Ringmaster/Writer/Director Abigail Munn presiding.
The hour-long show is on the sweet side, where the clowns are not scary and the various acts of skill don't make you worry about the safety of the performers. Pictured above is Chinese Pole strongman Toni Cannon with the clown Calvin Kai Ku balancing on his shoulders.
Elise Hing, the contortionist, was more graceful than grotesque...
...and Garrett Allen exuded joy....
...while wrapping his body up and down a vertical rope.
The one jaw-dropping bit was by balance board artist Jan Damm, who kept adding wooden layers and pails to his already precarious balancing act on top of a table, and whether he would succeed or fly to the ground was an open question.
What elevates the show into a truly enjoyable realm is the music composed and improvised by Rob Reich and the Circus Bella All Star Band. It puts Cirque du Soleil's overproduced soundtracks to shame.
There are a half dozen more performances in July around the Bay Area. Click here for a schedule, and take a kid if you have one.