June 13, 2024
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June 13, 2024
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Step Right Up to the Family-Friendly Circus Vazquez

At Circus Vazquez.

For a limited time only through Sept. 25, bring your family and friends to Circus Vazquez. where all ages can watch entertaining performances by jugglers, acrobats, unicyclers, trapeze artists and more. On Sunday afternoon, my husband Zack and I went to Circus Vazquez in the Garden State Plaza in Paramus with our friends Lauren and Zach Friedman. While located inside a tent in the parking lot, the circus conveniently required a short 10-minute drive. In addition to its easily accessible location, I enjoyed the show because of its variety of acts, talented professionals, emotionally evoking music, sparkly costumes, and humor.

After stopping by the box office to pick up our tickets and then finding our seats inside, the performance began. We sat in the third row to the front, across from the live band, and we had a perfectly clear view of the show. The band performed on an elevated platform and enhanced the experience with beautiful music. The opening act was an amusing bit where two maestros attempted to balance bottles on sticks that they were holding. While the maestro on my left was unsuccessful, the maestro on my right not only managed to balance his bottle but also took several steps while doing so. After accepting the applause from the audience, the maestros turned around to return backstage, and it immediately became evident how the successful maestro accomplished such a feat. While I won’t spoil his secret, I will say that it had the audience cracking up.

Ahuva with Zach and Lauren Friedman at Circus Vazquez.

When their shtick ended, the lights went out and it was time for mine and Lauren’s favorite part of the circus. When the lights came back on, several women and a man were posing on the stage dressed in coordinating red and white, funky outfits and holding gold hula hoops. Above, a woman was balancing on a trapeze. Music started, the acrobats began dancing, the trapeze artist began flipping, and I wasn’t sure where to look since I wanted to see everything all at once. My favorite part of this act was when one acrobat stretched her leg straight up next to her head with her foot high in the air, the other foot still planted on the floor. Suddenly, she began spinning a hula hoop around her foot. I couldn’t believe how flexible she was to lift her leg so high, how strong she was to balance without falling, and how coordinated she was to spin the hula hoop on her foot at the same time.

Up next were young teenage performers James and Dylan, Dylan laying on an angled platform with his knees bent and James on top of him. Using his legs, Dylan hoisted James who continuously flipped and spun through the air, landed and repeated, doing a variety of flips and spins every time. Impressively, this act looked like it took a lot of strength and coordination and was fascinating to watch.

The maestros returned to the stage and one of them looked around and requested to borrow a red scarf from an audience member. After taking the scarf and putting it in his pocket, the maestro insisted that he could make the scarf appear in the other maestro’s pocket. After a few grunts accompanied by music to make the performance sound more magical, the maestro exclaimed that the scarf was in the other maestro’s pocket. Lo and behold, the second maestro pulled something out of his pocket, and there it was! Without hesitation, the first maestro revealed how he managed to perform this trick. I had fun laughing together with the rest of the audience, so I won’t spoil the trick so that you could have the same opportunity.

James and Dylan.

Undoubtedly, the next performer, a juggler, maintained serious focus. While at first, he juggled three pins flipping through the air and back into his hands, he soon impressively added fourth and fifth pins and then switched to rings, which he tossed and stacked around his neck when he was finished. His subsequent props were trickier: three red sparkly bricks. In addition to juggling these with his hands, the juggler also incorporated his foot to kick the bricks up. While juggling, he repeatedly separated and reconnected the bricks, which appeared to me to have some sort of magnetic force since they were able to stick together.

One could argue that the next performer demonstrated Tarzan-like moves. An Indian man wearing orange shorts quickly climbed to the top of a brown pole, astonishingly hanging and spinning around it. But it was three endeavors that he mastered which really left a mark on me. First, he balanced standing on top of the pole while touching the tip with only one of his feet. Then, he sprawled out flat on the top of the pole, his belly the only body part touching the tip. While these acts in themselves amazed me by the amount of strength they required, he then somersaulted through his own arms back to the middle of the pole, and hung his body perpendicular to it, grasping the pole with only his feet.

Afterward, a man and woman entered the stage with their background dancers who were wearing matching flowy red dresses. The dancers spun and flipped off of each other to slow, inspiring music, and I noticed that the woman’s facial expressions reflected the mood of the melody. I was astounded when the man held her entire body on top of him with just one of his hands, and Zack jokingly whispered to me that he wouldn’t be impressed until he saw the woman lift the man the same way.

Seesaw act.

Of course, the maestros reappeared to do another comical bit, and this time it was slow-motion fighting. Slowly, they stabbed and shot at each other with a pretend sword and gun. The shot looked real as a bullet soared slowly out of the gun, through the air, and into one of the maestros. During this bit, Zack pointed out to me that the hat on one of the maestros was moving around on his head by itself, and I could not figure out how it was happening.

Bearing in mind that riding a unicycle requires a lot of talent already, the unicycle act at Circus Vazquez was spectacular. In the center of the stage appeared a raised platform with stairs leading up it, with a lower trampoline beside it. The cyclist was wearing a dazzling outfit: black pants and a black shirt with a shiny red vest. At first, the cyclist danced to the music while bouncing up and down the stairs to the beat, not getting off of his unicycle even once. Next, he flew on his unicycle back and forth between the raised platform and the trampoline. Last but not least, he took out a jump rope, which he used while bouncing on the unicycle. I didn’t think the act could get any cooler, when suddenly a three-wheel tall unicycle (called a tricycle) emerged onto the stage and the cyclist continued to bounce up and down the stairs while riding it! To top it all off, a 15-wheel tall unicycle (called a megacycle) took the stage, the cyclist climbed a ladder to reach the top, and rode in circles around the stage.

The Juggling Brothers.

I was nervous during this act since we were sitting close up and I didn’t want the megacycle to fall on us, and I was relieved when the cyclist safely climbed down the ladder and reached the floor. To finish off the unicycle bit, two small boys entered the stage, riding around it on unicycles, while a young girl did the same on a taller unicycle. Following this act was intermission, which we took advantage of to buy snacks before sitting back in our seats.

Intermission ended, and we looked above the stage to see a lady dressed in blue dangling from a trapeze. Among other striking tricks, I loved when without holding on, she swiftly switched from hanging by just her arms to her legs while swinging intensely back and forth. Then the maestros reentered the stage and did a water spitting act where one of the maestros came close to spitting on members sitting in the front row of the audience several times to their disbelief.

Zack and Zach’s favorite act came next: the juggling brothers. They came on the stage wearing gray pants and vests with sparkly, black bow ties and juggled green pins in sync with each other, incorporating their legs into the juggling as well, and they also threw the pins back and forth to each other while doing so. They switched from pins to rings, and one of the brothers tossed and stacked the rings around the other brother’s neck. The most exciting part was when the brothers stood beside each other, put one arm around the other and nevertheless continued to juggle the pins while using only one hand. Amazingly, one brother used his foot to kick up some pins, passing them to his hands. Zack was amused when the brothers shoved each other out of the way, grabbed the other’s pins mid-juggle, and continued juggling where the other brother left off. Then, a tall, metal rod with an upside-down “U” at the bottom was thrust onto the stage. One brother placed each end of the “U” on his shoulders and the other brother climbed up to the top of the pole. In addition to standing and balancing at the top, he also grasped a baton that fell from the ceiling, held it up, and juggled rings, all while being balanced by the brother beneath the rod.

It was time for another comical bit, and this time the maestros stood in the audience directly next to Zach. We were hoping that they would mess with Zach, but fortunately for Zach they chose another guy in the audience. One of the maestros put a pair of gloves on the guy’s head with his hat on top and then did a trick where he successfully got his gloves back without touching the hat. He had the audience chuckling, but I won’t give away how he did it.

The Megacycle.

For the final act before the finale, nine men and women dressed like pirates in a variety of gray, brown, and red pants and vests flipped around the stage off of seesaws. For one trick, a woman stood on one end of the seesaw, and two of the men jumped on the other side, causing her to fly in the air and land on top of a man who was standing and balancing on top of a tall metal pole that was being held up by another man. Next, the man at the top of the pole held onto another pole with a cushioned seat on it, and when the men who jumped on the seesaw caused the woman to fly into the air, she landed this time in a sitting position on the chair. Lastly, the finale included all of the circus performers dancing together in their sparkly outfits.

I am glad I visited Circus Vazquez because the performance that was put on is not something you see every day and made me feel inspired, especially with the emotionally evoking music playing in the background. From watching the show, I could tell that the amount of effort, practice and coordination that goes into it is immense, and I appreciated how much body strength was required for most of the acts. There are over 100 people who work on perfecting each performance. I hope you have a chance to visit Circus Vazquez before it leaves the Garden State

Plaza on Sept. 25!

What: Circus Vazquez

Where: Garden State Plaza, Paramus,

Cost: Children (2-10) $30; Adults $50-$70; Seniors/Military/Handicap $45-%65; Use promo code PAR20RT for 20% off valid only on single tickets purchased on general side and general front; offer valid until Sept. 24. Purchase through Groupon for other discounts.

When: Through Sept. 25: Monday-Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 1-4 p.m., and 7 p.m.

Ahuva Greenberg grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland and lives in Teaneck with her husband, Zack. She is a talent attraction coordinator at IPG Mediabrands. Ahuva runs an Instagram page where she posts about her and Zack’s fun adventures, so make sure you are following @funzacktivities!

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