This weekend I had the opportunity to attend Circus Vargas at Fiesta Mall in Mesa. This traditional circus, with aerial tricks, magic, acrobatics and, of course, clowns (but sans animals) is a traditional traveling circus, with its roots going back more than 40 years. Circus Vargas travels with their own venue, a circus tent (you were expecting a motor home?!?) giving it the look and feel of something wonderful about to unfold. The charm of Circus Vargas is in the intimacy between the audience and the performers. No one is more than about 15 rows away from the stage.
© Judy Hedding
Circus Vargas regularly comes through the Phoenix area, usually in the winter, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of the children I saw in the audience have attended before, and will do so again, for years to come. The delight on their faces was evident, as they watched the clowns, ooh-ed and ah-ed at the magic, applauded the acrobats in their sparkly costumes and had jaws dropping at the stars performing amazing feats. Even the adults in the audience seemed to appreciate this traditional, lower-tech, family-friendly show. I thought the acts were well done and professionally presented.
Ten Things To Know Before You Go
- Don't come to Circus Vargas expecting Cirque du Soleil. It's lower budget. Of course, you aren't paying Cirque prices, either.
- The seating and stage is showing age, but once the performers begin that really doesn't matter much.
- The ringside seats are great, but not necessary to enjoy the show. All the seats afford a good view, but I still would try to stick with the seats that are in the two right or two left center sections. The third sections, both right and left, have you looking at the back of some of the action. In that far section, I had difficulty with the sound system. I couldn't understood anything that was said/sung.
- The arena seats, in between Ringside and bleachers, are the most popular. They reminded me of cafeteria chairs, not padded, no drink holders.
- In my opinion, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the bleacher seats, which have backs. As a matter of fact, I think it is easier to watch the aerial acts from a slightly higher perspective!
- There are some concession items sold here. Bring cash for popcorn, cotton candy, soda in cans, bottled water. I'd skip the lemonade.
- The show is about two hours long, including an intermission. There are daytime and evening performances.
- Restrooms are of the porta-potty variety.
- You can purchase those light-up sabres and other souvenirs that glow in the dark -- a must-have item for the circus!
- There are no animals in Circus Vargas performances.
- Bring the kids half an hour early to participate in some on-stage feather tricks!
Remaining performance dates:
In Phoenix, at Metrocenter Mall, from January 31 - February 4, 2013
In Mesa, at Superstition Springs Center, 6555 E Southern Ave., from February 7 - February 11, 2013
In Scottsdale, at The Pavilions at Talking Stick, 9175 East Indian Bend Road, from February 14 - February 18, 2013
$25 and up for people 11 years old and older; $20 and up for children ages 2-10 and seniors; military $20 and up including immediate family (no discount for VIP); under 2 years old free.
Mall parking lot, no charge
Look for discounts:
Check Goldstar.com for half-price tickets (Buy Discounted Tickets Direct)
More information, buy tickets:
Circus Vargas online
As is common in the industry, the writer was provided with a complimentary ticket for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy. All prices and offerings mentioned herein are subject to change without notice. 01/13