If the Venardos Circus makes a stopover in your town, do yourself a favor and go see one of their shows. They’re a throwback to the glorious olden days of circuses, performing underneath a traditional “big top.” Owner and Ringmaster Kevin Vernados worked for Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey before they closed up shop, and he is keeping the tradition alive and thriving. An animal-free production, they employ the standard death-defying and mind-bending acts one typically expects of a circus—acrobatics, contortion, magic, walking barefoot on the razor-sharp edge of a sword, etc.—with a Broadway feel and traditional vaudeville shenanigans. I had an absolute blast at their show. They may be a “little circus that could,” as Venardos puts it, but they deliver big time fun.
As I was leaving the tent after attending a recent performance, I kid you not, the four largest bats I have ever seen outside of a zoo (where they sometimes have fruit bats or “flying foxes”) flew past. None of the kinds of bats we have in Alabama typically grow so large and they do not typically “flock” together. “Look,” I announced to my date, “even Dracula and his Brides came out to see the Circus!”