Get The Ink Out: Circus a welcoming place for kids, parents

Have you been following this "No Kids" movement going across the country? If not, allow me to fill you in.

I first heard about it when Malaysia Airlines banned children from first class on certain flights. Then a Pittsburgh restaurant banned children younger than 6. Finally, an unknown theater had an adults-only screening of the new "Harry Potter" movie.

I get it. You want to fly across the Pacific without your seat's back being kicked. You want to savor that duck confit without having food flung at you. You want to see how Harry and the gang handle the next adventure in peace.

But if you're a parent, where can you take the family and not feel like pariah?

The circus, that's where. And lucky you, it just so happens to be in town — well, the county at least.

"Fully Charged," the latest incarnation of the "Greatest Show on Earth," doesn't ask for quiet. In fact, it asks the audience to have the most fun ever, starting with the pre-show.

Kids can try on costumes, learn how to hula hoop, watch jugglers and take pictures with some of the performers, among other things. All the kids at Wednesday night's show really got into the sneak peeks — but by far, everyone seemed most enthralled with Asia the elephant, who painted two pictures while her handler dispensed fun facts aboutelephants and the circus' involvement in protecting the species.

I won't give away too many details on the pre-show, but it's well worth showing up early for.

Now for the main event: I cringed, I gasped, I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe.

This show is jam-packed with entertainment, from the Fusco Brothers' juggling act to the Fernandez Brothers' thrilling acrobatics inside — and outside — spinning steel wheels. If your thing is tightrope walkers, or say tightrope bike riders, pay close attention to the Danguir Troupe, who had me on the edge of my seat each time they jumped over one another.

Kids who enjoyed "The Hunger Games," will probably be enthralled with the Negrey Troupe of gymnasts and acrobats, whose costumes look like fire in motion. Cinna would be proud.

I do need to warn you, the animals almost steal the show. Tabayara "Taba" Maluenda has hishorses, elephants and big cats perform the most amazing of tricks.

All the acts are simply wonderful, but the real stars for me were Stas & Vas — two clowns who could get the angriest curmudgeon to guffaw. Parents, rest assured your child won't be the only one to enjoy this duo's routine. If you're a child of the 1980s, you're sure to enjoy the Michael Jackson impersonation. I'll leave the rest as a surprise.

With little ones all around me, I expected to hear some unhappy voices throughout the show, but there was nary a peep of protest. I heard lots of giggles but felt absolutely no wiggles. I'd call that a success, so maybe airlines, restaurants and movie theaters need to invest in a good circus act or two.

Web Editor JAMIE ROWE can be reached at or (714) 966-4634.

If You Go

What: "Fully Charged" from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

When: Various times until Aug. 7

Where: Honda Center, 2695 East Katella Ave., Anaheim

Cost: $15 to $100


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