By Bob Uphues
North Riverside may earn the distinction of being the circus capital of the western suburbs if 2019 is any sign of the future. In April, a traveling circus set up its big top in the east parking lot of the North Riverside Park Mall and staged performances for a month.
The positive outcome – from both the perspective of mall officials and village hall – has led to another circus coming to the mall, 7501 Cermak Road, for the last two weeks of August.
This time around, however, the circus is not really for kids, but for thrill-seeking adults who enjoy circus acts featuring dancing vampires, zombies, an evil clown and chainsaw-wielding spooks.
The R-rated show contains "adult language and material," according to a press release.
Paranormal Cirque, a unit of the Cirque Italia, will stage performances under their black and red big top tent in the parking lot of the mall on Aug. 22-26 and Aug. 29-Sept. 2.
The horror-story themed show, which is billed as a "unique creation of combined theater, circus and cabaret with a new European-style flair," according to a press release, is geared toward an adult audience. Children under the age of 13 are not admitted, and kids between the ages of 13-17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
"This innovative horror story features different shades of sexy and an incomparable storyline," a press release for the show states. "The only thing you can be sure of during this unique experience is that you will not know what to expect. It might be hard to divide reality and illusion."
Cirque Italia rolled out the animal-free Paranormal Cirque in 2018, and the show has traveled extensively east of the Mississippi. It's heading into North Riverside after shows in southeast Wisconsin and will move on to Aurora after its stay here in town.
In April, the Circo Hermanos Vasquez drew thousands of people, mostly families, to its 40 performances. Sales of tickets and food concessions brought the village of North Riverside about $38,500 in revenue, and mall officials were thrilled with the additional traffic to the shopping center.
That circus has been invited back for another residency next year.
Paranormal Cirque tickets for those 18 and older range from $20 to $50, while tickets for kids between the ages of 13-17 range between $10 and $45.
One show at 7:30 p.m. will be staged on Aug. 22, 23, 26, 29 and 30. Show times are 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 24 and Aug. 31. Show times are at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 25 and Sept. 1 and 2.
More information is available by clicking here.