Thursday, August 13, 2015

PETA Will Never Protest This Circus


The Human Circus of “Verekai” is in Town for a Limited Time

By Skip Sheffield

You don’t go to Cirque du Solelil for the story line. You go to this French-Canadian “Circus of the Sun” for its amazing human tricks and sheer, eye-popping spectacle.
“Verekai” is the show up through Aug. 23 at BB&T Center in Sunrise. Created in 2002, the story ostensibly tells what happened to Icarus of Greek mythology after he fell back to Earth. However Icarus is just an incidental character in the larger production.
The show begins informally, with a man and woman dressed in usher outfits playing around with audience members. Useful note: if you like front-row seats, you could well become part of the show.
The same man and woman will reappear in different costumes singing as part of the main show. Icarus makes his entrance overhead, wearing huge feather wings. When he falls to Earth he is broken and crippled. The colorful creatures he encounters in a land called Verekai will encourage him and help him get back on his feet again. The show is essentially done in mime. Although characters vocalize, they speak gibberish like no known language. Characters get their meanings across by vocal inflections. Though we don’t understand what they are saying, we get their meaning.
The music for “Verekai” is exotic and all-original, played by an onstage band that is hidden most of the time. The music sets the stage for the spectacular aerial, acrobatic, trapeze, balancing and juggling acts performed by beautiful, nimble performers from all over the world. I had no program so I can’t tell you who the performers were. Trust me; they are amazing and their feats breath-taking.
The BB&T Center is not one of my favorite venues, and to add to its drawbacks, $20 is demanded to park in their parking lot, so factor that into the price of a ticket. “Verekai” uses only half of the arena, so the sightlines are good and it has a relatively intimate feel. There are common factors in all Cirque du Solelil shows, including amazing, brilliant costumes and incredible feats of human dexterity. Yes, it literally is a circus, and not one the PETA will ever protest.
Tickets are $40-$100, available at TicketMaster. Call 800-745-3000 or go to