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Circus Flora Debuts New Show This Weekend at Chesterfield Mall

The long-running St. Louis circus is trying a new format with a dinner-theater production geared toward adults.

The following information was provided by Circus Flora:

St. Louis' own Circus Flora, which has brought the magic of the one-ring circus to hundreds of thousands over the past 26 years, turns its narrative to a new, delightfully intimate format: a dinner-theater production geared toward adult audiences. 

Sponsored by Mercy Health Systems, A Celtic Night Circus: Tír na nÓg debuts one weekend only in an intimate, yellow-and-orange big top tent erected on the northwest grounds of Chesterfield Mall, 113 Chesterfield Center, the original community where Circus Flora first performed 26 years ago. The brand-new show, specifically written and produced for this limited engagement, carries the audience to a mythical land of eternal youth, mystery and revelry, with only four performances: 7 p.m. Oct. 18, 19 and 20, and 4 p.m. Oct. 21.

Following the vision of Circus Flora's artistic director and co-founder Ivor David Balding and similar productions in New York and San Francisco, the award-winning creative team of Circus Flora conjured up this brand-new tale, loosely adapted from Arthur Schnitzler's La Ronde and set on the mythical Celtic island of Tír na nÓg. Under the direction of Cecil MacKinnon, A Celtic Night Circus makes for an extravagant evening of one-ring circus.

"I've dreamt of a Celtic circus for a long time," said Balding. "The dark, mysterious world of Irish mythology perfectly suits an autumnal, nighttime show. Audiences can expect the same production quality and world-renowned performers that Circus Flora is known for, but the new tent and table seating makes this dinner theater distinctive and romantic."  

Featuring such celebrated performers as Sacha Pavlata, Melinda Heywood, The Bertini Family Troupe, Kellin Quinn of Circus Harmony, Claire "The Clown" Wedemeyer, and Cecil MacKinnon as Yo-Yo the Compere, A Celtic Night Circus is a cutting-edge, nighttime-only performance in a cabaret-style atmosphere. Audiences settle in for an exquisite sit-down dinner with dessert and wine - prepared by Michele Coen-Racanelli and Vito Racanelli of Michele C. Catering & Events - as they step back in time to the ancient Emerald Isle.

Tickets for A Celtic Night Circus are $175 and include a gourmet dinner, dessert and wine. Tickets go on sale Sept. 4 and are available at 314-534-1111 or www.circusflora.org.

A portion of the proceeds from A Celtic Night Circus benefit Circus Flora's most recent community outreach program, Clowns on Call, which brings the magic of circus to two St. Louis area children's hospitals: Mercy Children's Hospital and SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center.

A Celtic Night Circus is part of the annual American Arts Experience - St. Louis, a 17-day festival celebrating all mediums of American arts throughout the St. Louis region each October. Visit www.AmericanArtsSTL.org for more information.

A Celtic Night Circus is an extension of Circus Flora's 2012 season, which concludes in December with A Child's Christmas in Wales, Circus Flora's second co-production with the St. Louis Symphony. The 2013 season kicks off with Circus Flora's 27th annual big-top production, A Trip to the Moon, May 30 through June 23.

Circus Flora is a nonprofit arts organization based in St. Louis, best known for its always affordable, family-friendly, big-top production every summer under the air-conditioned, red-and-white big top in Grand Center, St. Louis' arts and entertainment hub, adjacent to Powell Hall (corner of Grand Boulevard and Samuel Shepard Drive). Call 314-289-4040 or visit www.circusflora.org for more information.

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