Circus Vargas Irvine 

The circus is coming to town! Many of us growing up in California can remember just how exciting it was to see the blue and yellow Circus Vargas tents being raised in our home town field or parking lot, knowing that we would soon be able to watch acrobats and clowns put on a show. From May 1-19, it will be Irvine's turn to enjoy the spectacle going on inside the blue and yellow tent. The days of elephants and caged lions have been traded in for a much more "PC" experience that relies on the talent of an entirely human cast with superhuman talents. The cast and crew is made up of families living, working, and training together as they move from town to town, entertaining visiting family's along the way.

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Magikaria Extreme, the name of the current Circus Vargas show, is headlined by talented illusionist (and heart throb according to my seven-year-old daughter) Patrick Gable who seems to be inspired by Chris Angel and his brand of rock n' roll magic. His impressive illusions are just part of the modernized fun attendees can expect while attending the circus. The circus still features the trapeze artists, acrobats, and clowns that we have come to expect from a big top show but the performances combine upbeat music and modern theatrics with the usual stunts and laughs. No red nose and white face paint for Alex the clown, but still plenty of hijinks and laughs.

When asked for their favorite performance at the circus, each member of my family picked a different act . For my daughter, it was the fun trampoline acrobatics performed by a dashing trio of graffiti artist bad boys. My husband found himself on pins and needles (okay, we all were hiding our eyes a bit) the entire time a mohawked daredevil made his way around what we have deemed "the rotating circle of death". My son was impressed by the illusionist's ability to get himself out of shackles before the timer buzzed and a board full of sharp spikes impaled him. I marveled at the speed of the fabulously talented quick change artists. But all of us agreed that there wasn't a moment of the circus that we didn't enjoy.

Ready for your family's trip to the circus? Here is what you to need to know before you go:

Where: Irvine Spectrum Center, 71 Fortune Center Drive

When: Multiple shows 6 days a week (closed Tuesday), May 1-19, 2014.

Cost: $25-$65 depending on seat location. The tent is intimate enough to ensure there is not a bad seat in the house. Tickets discounted 50% can be found here.

Tips: Get to the show early to enjoy a pre-show which allows kids to hang out on the main arena floor and learn how to balance a feather with some of the show staff.  Also, bear in mind that temperatures can be much warmer inside the tent than outside since there is no air conditioning.  

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