For the Greatest Show on Earth, the circus gets a bad rap. Clowns scare children and contortionists make us cringe. Fortunately, the Wanderlust Circus offers a reprieve from traditional circus acts by injecting performances with a touch of of dark whimsy inspired in part by composer Danny Elfman and musicians Spike Jones and the City Slickers.
"There's also a theatrical element you don't see very often," said Wanderlust co-ringmaster Noah Mickens of the circus' family of immortal carnies. "Our background story is one that flows through the show really well."
That backstory is played out under the flashing lights of the 1980s, when a bad boy falls for an acrobatic beauty. But being attracted to—let alone falling in love with—a member of the Wanderlust Circus is a phenomenon all its own. Now the dauntless hero must discover the secrets of a circus that never sleeps on a quest for love that will take him on the road with a troupe that will never see a curtain call.
Hailing from Portland, Ore., the Wanderlust Circus tours its company of acrobats, balancers, trick-ropers, stilt-dancers and aerialists to cities across the Northwest. The independent production uses the intimacy of small theaters to emphasize imagination through its human performers.
The Wanderlust Circus brings its steampunk-meets-Vaudeville storytelling to the City of Trees Tuesday, July 9, at 7 p.m. at the Egyptian Theatre, where performers will set the scene for "The Endless Road."