By Merle Exit
An opening night weather delay did not deter a great show for UniverSoul Circus at Roy Wilkins Park
The show got off to a rousing start with two groups of young cheerleaders taking the stage. Rather than having the ringmaster, Lucky Malatsi and his sidekick Zeke introduce the first act, UniverSoul Circus checks out the audience prior to the show and invites attending schools to showcase their talent.
The fashionable, colorful Fresh the Clowns are always scouting out the crowd perspective dancers for later in the show to add to the audience participation segments. Most of the younger crowd were able to sing along to the pop, classical R&B, hip-hop and Latin music, which set the mood for an energetic circus performance.
UniverSoul brought in performers from all over the world. Caribbean Dynasty, from Trinidad and Tobago, was the first act, a combination of flamboyant dancers and performers in masks on stilts. At one point, a limbo bar goes to six inches and ablaze.
There are three acts that involve the use of animals, the cutest being Pampered Pooches, a comedy act from Chile. Their costumes and playful antics delighted everyone, especially dog lovers.
Returning from last year’s show are the Flat Out Free-Style Riders Motorcross Dare Devils from right here in the United States. The door is opened at both ends of the big top as you hear their engines start, zoom and fly 30 feet into the air, jumping 75 feet across. It was quite exciting and brought you to the edge of your seat.
High wire and acrobatic acts are always a great circus jaw-dropper. That’s the case at UniverSoul, with an act from The Wiley Family from Columbia, which was composed of a six-person troupe with performers between the ages of 21 and 54. Skillful balancing certainly made the difference on the high wire. Nomads flew up there on their teeterboards.
Two acts — Morning Bird and Duo Amour, both from Havana — used poles to produce a more flowing type of entertainment.
Other performances added to the sounds of music and short delays led to on the spot ideas. such as throwing huge inflatable balls into the audience.
The circus will remain in Queens at Roy Wilkins Park — located between Merrick and Baisley boulevards in Jamaica — until Sunday, when it will break for a few days to set up at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn. You can catch performances at 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Friday; at noon, 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and at 12:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Sunday.