While there was almost nothing more annoying in the '80s than having your favorite episode of Gomer Pyle USMC suddenly interrupted by dimly-lit, low budget footage of tigers jumping through fire hoops and multicolored clowns stacked in scary, multicolored clown pyramids—all to the breathy jingle, “The big one is back! Circus Vargas, Circus Vargas”—there’s something to be said for creepy, old-timey road shows. The revamped Vargas is pretty much Cirque du Soleil-lite, featuring what modern audiences crave, like the poshy, dancey, Disney-style spectacular “Magikaria, a Fantastical Magical Experience.” And while the thought of a “singing ringmaster” (chirping out his own compositions) might make some want to wretch, the upshot is that Circus Vargas was saved from demise and it’s way cheaper to take the kids to Westminster than to Vegas. You’ll just have to visit the snake charmers, midgets and bearded ladies in your dreams—or rent Carnivale.
May 9-13, 2013