Theater Review: Circus Juventas’ Summer Production of OZ!

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circus juventas OZCircus Juventas’ Summer Production: OZ
Limited seating now through August 18, 2013
Tickets: $14-$35

Clearly I didn’t do my research before attending the opening-night performance of Circus Juventas’ summer production Oz. It wasn’t much like I’d imagined it would be.

 It was so much MORE! The show had more of everything – dozens of jaw-droppingly talented youth and young adults, a ceaseless assortment of acrobatic apparatus, and a running time just over three hours – than I’d gone in expecting. It all added up to a smashing night out at the circus with my oldest daughter.

Bless her six-year-old heart; she was pretty drowsy as the show stretched past her bedtime. But she couldn’t take her eyes off the characters from Oz: witches on trapezes, handspringing monkeys, Dorothy airborne amidst a spinning cyclone, and a lovely poison poppy 20 feet high (“that is too impossible!”). As we watched the story unfold through beautifully choreographed scenes of circus acts, I added my own narration for Emily, who was not familiar with the classic Wizard of Oz. This kept her going until the end of the show; she was determined to see Dorothy rescued from the clutches of the Wicked Witch by her allies (a juggling scarecrow, a tin man in a German Wheel, a mighty strong lion and, in a twist, the Wizard himself).

FFTC circus juventas oz

We ducked out for snacks during the intermission, right as the founder of Circus Juventas was giving a brief history of the home-grown program. If I remember correctly, the school (which started as an after-school class at a local rec center) currently serves 750 students and is the leading youth circus arts program in the country. Their tradition of putting on Cirque du Soleil-style productions has been going strong for almost 20 years. Had I done my research before coming to Oz would I have been any less impressed? Probably not! The show was fantastic. My daughter and I genuinely thank Circus Juventas for providing us an opportunity to experience this St. Paul gem.

Tip: Shows are selling out fast. I’d recommend visiting this link to find available tickets — and hurry!

Circus Juventas is located at:
1270 Montreal Avenue, St Paul, MN 55116
 651-699-8229 (box office)

Limited free parking in the lot or on Montreal Ave.



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About the author

Anne Kingston

If we left it up to Anne to write her own bio, it would never get posted. She doesn’t enjoy talking about herself, but Anne does love exploring the Twin Cities with her family and sharing her finds here. She, her husband and their four kids are lifelong residents of St. Paul.


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