Updated: Aug 17, 2021
Atlantic County Magazine – GACCA Article
Print Date 7.30.2021
By Judy Brenna
I kind of remember the first time I went to the circus. The memory is a bit hazy. ((the screen squiggles and fades to a flashback)) I know I was very young. I remember it was at night, and it was warm so it had to have been the summer. I remember stepping out of my dad’s Cadillac eyes pointed downward at first, staring at my new hot pink and glitter-flecked Jellies on my feet, then slowly rolling my eyes upwards to the ginormous red and white striped tent in the distance with absolute utter awe. I remember being herded like cattle into a section of bleachers. I remember holding a bag of peanuts and trying to get the nut out of the shell with tremendous struggle. I remember feeling immensely frustrated and then, as I was holding said bag of peanuts, I wished with all my might that it was popcorn. ((side note: I'm fairly certain this was my first memory experiencing frustration and disappointment. But we’re not here to talk about my past therapy sessions so I digress)). There were a series of creepy performer-folk with heavily painted faces and oversized clothing acting like ding-dongs in the arena and discovered my very first moment of utter fear ((#killerclownsfromouterspace)). I remember a bunch of poodles doing all kinds of zany tricks, jumping and flipping in the air. I distinctly remember falling in love when the elephants came out. They were so colossal yet so unbelievably adorable. I remember begging my dad to hug one. I remember him laughing aloud. I remember “harrumphing” for the first time ((basically, the circus was a bunch of firsts for me. Right, no therapy. Ok, ok...)). My most vivid memory of that night? The trapeze and high wire performers. This was roughly around the same time in my life that I discovered the concept of being able to wear lycra and tights in extravagant colors and slapping metal to the bottom of your shoes with the possibility of making a living doing it and my lord it seemed supremely awesome ((#tapdancerforlife)). So, to see people coming out into the arena in colorfully and scantily clad outfits, adorned with various tiny shiny baubles, doing all kinds of amazing things with their strength and physique seemed, again, supremely awesome. Aside from the lifelong PTSD, this was one of the singularly most momentous and defining nights of my young life.
You’re probably wondering why I’m going on about how my therapist was able to put her son through college and graduate school thanks to me. I’ll explain. Atlantic City is so beyond lucky and fortunate to have the Cirque Risqué Troup in town until September. There are a few key things to touch on when discussing Cirque Risqué. First and foremost, the meaning behind a circus. When you hear or see the word "circus", the very first thing that most likely pops into your melon is the tent, followed by the stuff of nightmares ((CLOWNS)), and then talented animals in funny costumes doing insanely talented things, muscly people in tights, etc. That is not exactly what Cirque Risqué is. It’s more like if Cirque de Soleil drank champagne and ate a bunch of oysters. Cirque Risqué does have that circus tone, of course, that traditional connotation of traveling performers doing insanely talented fetes. But Cirque Risqué is definitely more of an art form than anything else. It is also an “adults-only” show and we’ll dive into more detail in a second. Cirque Risqué is part of The Super American Circus, now performing at The Sand Lot in between Show Boat Resort and Convention Hotel, and Ocean Casino Resort, since July 1st through September 6th. The Super American Circus show runs every Thursday through Sunday at 4:30 pm, and the Cirque Risqué runs at 8:30 pm.
While the Super American Circus offers family-friendly entertainment with awe and amazement, Cirque Risqué is a literally sizzling hot show only for age-ed eyes. The name encapsulates their theme perfectly. The show dares you to come out and enjoy a unique and captivating evening out on the town with sensual exhibitions, featuring aerialists, silk performers ((you know, those super lithe and sexy folk who defy the laws of gravity and suspend themselves in the air and flip and twirl as you stare with mouth agape, potentially (and one time definitely) choking on your popcorn)), dare devils, contortionists, and comedians. You will laugh, gasp, potentially choke on your own saliva, and maybe even get a little flushed, all in the span of an hour and half. I have seen shows like this in my tenure as an ((alleged)) adult, and this show, by far, excels way beyond your entertainment expectations. This is the perfect show for a date, a bachelor or bachelorette party, an adult’s birthday celebration, just to name a few. And I’m not just saying this because a friend from college is in the show ((she’s the super gorgeous one with the long, fiery red mane #girlcrush, hi, Elaine!!)). What’s unique about this show is it allows you to relive that sensational “wow” moment you got as a kid when you went to the circus for the first time, instantly falling in love with the sights and sounds encapsulating you, while also allowing you to relive that “wow” moment you had in Vegas that one night when you were 23 and found yourself accidentally stumbling into that high-end strip club just off the boulevard, and you lost all of your money to a dancer named Destiny because she said her son was sick and you were inebriated so you naturally were feeling extra generous. That reminds me, I need to reschedule my therapy appointment.
Irregardless, I implore you to go online today and purchase tickets for a night of unbelievable entertainment. Tickets are selling at a rapid rate and the show is only in town for another 6 weeks. They have general admission and VIP seating available but note every seat single seat in the house permits an absolutely unforgettable night. You deserve to see this. You owe it to yourself. Less thinking, more googling right now: https://www.cirquerisque.com/tickets
Oh and btdubs, Deauville Inn, Strathmere by the Sea. ((Dropping mic and walking away in slow motion))
Until next week, folks… #stayjerseystrong!