Homegrown circus performs
by Kerry Lengel - Dec. 15, 2012
The Republic | azcentral.com
Dec. 15, 2012
In the age of Cirque du Soleil, the international entertainment juggernaut and countless "nouveau circus" copycats, the Valley's own Taylor Circus Stars are a throwback to the days when traveling troupes of clowns and acrobats were often family affairs, bringing intimate entertainment to towns across America.
Headed up by matriarch Barbara Taylor, a onetime clown with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, the Chandler-based performance company has been in business for dozens of years. Its biggest show yet, dubbed "Circus Americana," is currently playing at the Herberger Theater Center.
"It's an exciting plunge for us," Taylor says. "We have 24 circus performers in this. We have been able to find some amazing talent here in Arizona."
The show features traditional circus stunts including acrobatics, tightwire and stilt-walking. No lions or elephants, but the Doggies of the Wild West are on board.
"It's a very vintage-feeling circus, something that's good for the entire family," Taylor says. "Kind of a bit of vaudeville and a touch of the magical."
At the heart of the show is the Taylor family -- Barbara, husband Martin and their four children, Elia, 17; Aubrey, 15; Ian, 15; and Liam, 6. All have their own specialties. Dad is a juggler and fire-eater, and ballet-trained Elia is a contortionist and walks the tightwire -- en pointe. Aubrey is a magician, and acrobat Ian will star in the "Pirate Trampolines" act. And little Liam has already mastered several circus skills, including scarf juggling.
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