Come To The Dark Side

Come To The Dark Side

Paranormal Cirque ‘sexy, scary and funny’


“Sexy, scary and funny.”

“A unique experience.”

“It’s all amazing and eye opening.”

“Definitely an adult show, but super-funny and entertaining.”

All that online fuss is about Paranormal Cirque, a traveling performance company based in Sarasota, Fla., stopping this weekend in Fort Smith. Spokeswoman Sarah Kessler describes it as a combination of theater, circus and cabaret “with a new European-style flare” and “an innovative horror story.”

“The show was the idea of Manuel Rebecchi,” Kessler explains, speaking for a troupe of performers for whom English is usually a second language. “Born and raised in Milan, Italy, Manuel grew up in the circus life with a circus family, so that’s where he grew his fascination and admiration of anything related to performance and entertainment. When he moved here, he wanted to do something different, so he started a water circus in 2012, which he named ‘Cirque Italia’ [and] in 2017, he added a second unit of the water circus. Then in June of 2018, he began the Paranormal Cirque, where he brought the performers and tent over on a boat from Italy, and it debuted in Palmetto, Fla.”

Kessler says “all of the shows have performers from all over the world,” including Belarus, Mexico, Bulgaria, Italy and Colombia. “They each perform multiple functions aside from performing — the person selling you your cotton candy or tearing your ticket could be the very same person you see flying through the air during the show,” she explains. “It is hard work and a team effort on everyone’s part. They also travel as a family on all units — performers travel with their spouses and children (if they have any), and the spouse will work as an user, concession attendant, ticket office clerk, etc.”

The acts, Kessler says, are “traditional circus acts — aerial acts, magic, plate spinning, wheel of death, horizontal bars, etc. — but the show has a dark theme to it. So instead of wearing typical circus costumes, they are dressed as zombies, vampires and the like. There’s comedy — adult humor, hence the ‘R’ rating — and mature content, which makes us stand apart from other traditional circus shows.

“Plus,” she adds, “we have the pre-show in the front tent area before the show begins with our scare actors running around [among] the audience members and getting their adrenaline pumping before the show. And we also include the audience in some of the acts.”

Paranormal Cirque will set down at “fairgrounds, mall parking lots, event centers” — pretty much anyplace “which has the space and capabilities and utilities for us to set up our trucks, RVs, tent and all of the equipment needed for each show,” Kessler says. This weekend, that means “under the stunning black-and-red big top tent” in the parking lot off Plum Street at the Arkansas-Oklahoma State Fairgrounds in Fort Smith. Next weekend, Paranormal Cirque will be in the parking lot at Battlefield Mall in Springfield, Mo.



Paranormal Cirque

WHEN — 7:30 p.m. June 7; 6:30 & 9:30 p.m. June 8; 5:30 & 8:30 p.m. June 9

WHERE — 4400 Midland Blvd. in Fort Smith

COST — $10-$45

INFO — paranormalcirque/tickets

TAKE NOTE: No children younger than 13 will be admitted. Only patrons 17 and older with a photo I.D. may purchase tickets.



Paranormal Cirque

In Springfield

Next stop for Paranormal Cirque is Battlefield Mall in Springfield, Mo., with shows at 7:30 p.m. June 13-14; 6:30 & 9:30 p.m. June 15; and 5:30 & 8:30 p.m. June 16. Purchase tickets at 941-704-8572.

Categories: Cover Story