The circus is in town and it’s promising to be unlike any other you’ve seen.

Cirque-Italia presents “Paranormal Cirque”. It kicks off its two week run in Lawton tonight with a 7:30 p.m. performance from the crimson and sable tent in the Central Mall parking lot, 200 SW C. But be forewarned, this isn’t the circus you’d usually expect.

“We use traditional circus acts it just has a horror theme to it,” said Sarah Kessler, spokesperson for Cirque-Italia. “It’s dark, it’s not your normal circus environment.”

“It’s great for those people who love Halloween all year around,” she added.

Building off of a horror story format, different shades of scary and sexy entwine into multiple shades of the darkness in human nature. Expect nothing less than the unexpected, Kessler said. The storytelling and theme are conceptualized.

“It’s not written out and easy to follow,” she said. “It keeps you on the edge of your seat and you don’t know what’s going to happen next.”

Once under the big top, Kessler said you’ll enter a parallel world surrounded by monstrous creatures with hidden talents that will amaze you with the circus arts. There will be humor and beauty meant for adults, that’s why you have to be 18 and older to attend. Teens between 13 and 17 years old may attend with adults over 21.

“This show is not for the faint of heart,” she said. “You may have to catch your breath or try to stop your heart from racing during this adrenaline filled performance.”

Kessler said the troupe features the best artists from all over the world for this unique attraction. Acts include the jaw-dropping Wheel of Death, the mystifying MAGIC, the infamous cyr wheel, and the always sexy yet dangerous silks. The cirque follows a strict animal-free policy.

If your sense and sensibilities are a little on the lighter side, Kessler said it’s probably a good idea to skip the pre-show. However, for those who enjoy the bizarre and macabre, it could be the perfect fit.

“It’s a little dark,” she said.

Kessler said the cast and crew of about 50 people work hard to put on a unique performance. After debuting in June 2018 in Palmetto, Fla., Paranormal Cirque gained a reputation as an event to catch during its east coast run that year. It’s since traveled a wider berth of the country but this is its first run in Southwest Oklahoma.

“It’s been a wild ride,” she said. “A lot of people love it.”

Although horror holds its theme in the cirque, realities about the COVID-19 pandemic have caused for customer safety protocols.

All CDC and local recommendations are being implemented, including social distance seating and masks for everyone, visitors and employees, who enter. Kessler said there have been added hand sanitizing stations. There will be signage that visualizes the social distancing plan and seating will be limited to about 50 percent the usual. She said that the ticketing system allows you and your party of eight or fewer people to be seated together. It all goes together to form a safe and entertaining experience.

“Our crews are committed to keeping all areas as clean as possible and have been disinfecting all common areas prior to, during and after every show,” she said. “We also have masks available for purchase for any guests who arrive without one.”

Kessler said this is an opportunity for adults with a penchant for horror or for something off the beaten track to feel like kids again.

“It’s something different, it’s something unique,” she said, “it’s something if you’re lucky enough to have us come one time, you should really check it out.”

Written by Scott Rains: scott.rains@swoknews.com.

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