Arts & Culture

Summer Circus Spectacular returns to Sarasota

The luxurious and intimate Historic Asolo Theater isn't the kind of place you usually see a circus. But that's one thing that makes the Summer Circus Spectacular so special.

Now in its ninth year, the Summer Circus Spectacular is a European-style one-ring circus that features five acts. It's a partnership between The Ringling and the Circus Arts Conservatory of Sarasota.

The stars of this year's show are Kirk Marsh, a comic performer who uses magic and juggling in his act; award-winning 13-year-old juggler Sebastian St. Jules; the teeterboard acrobats the Alvarez Family; a Risley act starring the Anastasini Brothers and the famous aerialist Dolly Jacobs.

Jacobs is known around the world -- she's known as the "Queen of the Air" --- but she hails from Sarasota and co-founded the Circus Arts Conservatory.

Besides offering quality-acts in a distinctive setting, the spectacular aims to appeal to families, so ticket prices are low and show times are early in the day.

As a bonus, if you buy a ticket for the performance you can get admission to the Ringling's Circus Museum for only $5.

Details: June 16-Aug. 1, Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. Show times: 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 2 and 5 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: $15 adults, $12 children age 12 and younger. Information: 941-360-7399,

-- Marty Clear