Cirque Italia promises aquatic spectacular as it raises big top in Aurora

  • Cirque Italia artist Derek Diaz balances atop a tower of chairs.

    Cirque Italia artist Derek Diaz balances atop a tower of chairs. Courtesy of Cirque Italia

  • Cirque Italia performer Guillermo Fernandez performs on the Wheel of Death.

    Cirque Italia performer Guillermo Fernandez performs on the Wheel of Death. Courtesy of Less than 3 Photography

Posted7/23/2021 6:00 AM

Cirque Italia

Acrobats, aerialists, jugglers and other circus artists from Brazil, Armenia and Romania are among the performers appearing in Cirque Italia. The European-style circus, which promises an "aquatic spectacular" courtesy of a custom-designed water feature, stops briefly in Aurora.


7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 1:30, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. from Thursday, July 29, to Aug. 8 under the white and blue tent at 1650 Premium Outlet Blvd., Aurora. $10-$50. (941) 704-8572 or COVID-19 precautions include socially distanced seating and mask mandates for everyone 3 and older.

Angelica Cardinali performs with Cirque Italia, which stops in Aurora.
Angelica Cardinali performs with Cirque Italia, which stops in Aurora. - Courtesy of Roman Smolkin
Janus outdoors

Janus Theatre Company's summer season concludes with a pair of script-in-hand performances this weekend as part of a two-play showcase. Titled (Little) Theatre on the Prairie, the showcase consists of an adaptation of Sinclair Lewis' "Main Street" about a progressive young woman living in a provincial Minnesota town during the early 20th century, and "On the Verge," Eric Overmyer's comedy about three Victorian women traveling through time.

"Main Street" is at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 24; "On the Verge" is at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 25, at Bowes Creek Woods Pavilion, Elgin. The suggested donation is $10 per show, both shows for $15. Audience members should bring a lawn chair or blanket. See to reserve tickets.

Physical Theater Festival

The Physical Theater Festival Chicago, established in 2014 to showcase new forms of theater, returns. Held as part of the Chicago Park District's Night Out in the Parks series, the mini-fest showcases stories that "start and end with the body as the foundational textual source." Headliners include: "She Pick the Speed," a work about male energy supporting the feminine, by The Era Footwork Crew, and the comedic "Mindful Manipulations," about performers infusing everyday objects with magical properties. Other works include "Ancestral Procession," which uses masks, music and puppets to build community, as well as "pop-up" performances.

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Begins at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 31, at Nichols Park, 1355 E. 53rd St., Chicago. Free. See

In other news

• Previews continue for "System of a Clown," the first new Annoyance Theatre sketch show in about 18 months. Annoyance founder and artistic director Mick Napier directs the show. Previews on Friday and Saturday, July 23-24, at 851 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. The show opens Friday, July 30, and runs through September. (773) 697-9693 or

• The Opera Festival of Chicago's inaugural season commences Saturday, July 24, and runs through Aug. 5 at various venues including The Athenaeum, 2936 N. Southport Ave.; Artifact Events, 4325 N. Ravenswood Ave.; and Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport St., Chicago. The lineup includes: the Chicago premiere of Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari's "Il segreto di Susanna," Giacomo Puccini's "Il tabarro" and Dante 700, a celebration of the poet and his "Divine Comedy." Tickets range from $30-,$75. See

• The final installment of Silk Road Rising's four-part virtual series Black Teen Lives Matter premieres online at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 28, with an encore presentation at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 31. The programs consist of monologues and short plays written by Black teens participating in Silk Road's Empathic Playwriting Intensive Course. The plays were written during the 2020 pandemic-related shutdown and in the wake of George Floyd's murder. See


• PlayMakers Laboratory's Summer of Stories consisting of free, family-friendly performances written by Chicago schoolchildren and adapted by PlayMakers ensemble members continues. Performances take place at 11 a.m. Monday, July 26, at Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72nd St., Chicago; 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 27, at Palmer Park, 201 E. 111th St., Chicago; and 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 28, at Douglass Park, 1401 S. Sacramento Drive, Chicago. See

• In celebration of its 25th year, The Actors Gymnasium hosts a community circus at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 31, at Tallmadge Park, 927 Noyes St., Evanston. Part of the company's summer salon, the family-friendly event includes circus acts, music and refreshments. See

• 16th Street Theater founder and artistic director Ann Filmer announced she will step down next month from the Berwyn theater, which produced 61 productions and 19 readings, 55 of which were written by female-identifying playwrights and 37 by writers of color. The board will announce plans on the search for a new artistic director at a later date. "It has been an incredible journey founding and leading 16th Street Theater," said Filmer in a prepared statement. "It will be exactly 14 years at the end of August, and I am excited and ready to explore what is next for me. This is a wonderful time for new leadership at 16th Street. I cannot wait to champion the next artistic director and their new vision."

• Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre named Joseph Jefferson Award-winning director Christopher Pazdernik to the position of managing director and casting director. "After starting my career in town by stage managing Theo's production of 'Man of La Mancha' in 2009, I am thrilled to come full circle and take on a leadership role with this very special Chicago institution. I look forward to growing the resources we need to support and sustain the work onstage, deepening our ties to the surrounding communities, both in Evanston and Chicago, and expanding our family of collaborators," Pazdernik said in a prepared statement.


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