With the first day of fall fast approaching, it’s time to say “goodbye” to summer sunshine and “hello” to spooky season. To ring in the most ghoulish time of year, the Neshaminy Mall parking lot will be transformed Sept. 28-Oct. 1 into a haunted wonderland when witches, vampires and other creatures of the night come to Bensalem as part of Paranormal Cirque III.
This brand-new show is under the umbrella of Cirque Italia, which hosts numerous European-style productions — including a water circus — that are animal-free and encompass a full slate of performers from around the world.
One such performer is Roxana Midi, an aerialist from Romania who has eight years under her belt entertaining Cirque Italia audiences. Before the White & Black Big Top Tent comes to town, The Times caught up with Midi, who is excited to be part of the company’s darker offering.
“Paranormal Cirque, it’s a fusion of cabaret, burlesque and acrobats. It’s scary, it’s creepy, but it is also sexy. We have very good dancers. They are being dressed as vampires, underground creatures,” she said. “We do like to evoke the world of dreams. The audience, when they leave, they will leave with their jaws dropped open, mesmerized. It is a more Las Vegas-style of show. Small quantity but good quality.”
During Paranormal Cirque, show-goers will see Midi doing acrobats over 30 feet in the air. As a former ballroom dancer, this type of performance, which she described as “dancing in the air,” is right up her alley. Midi will portray “The Dark Angel,” a character searching for love.
Midi stressed that Paranormal Cirque isn’t your average kid-friendly circus. Those ages 13-17 must be accompanied by an adult because of some mature language and material. There is also a pre-show haunted maze — featuring tons of jump scares — that attendees can walk through as they enter the tent, which might not be suitable for youngsters. Paranormal Cirque is perfect for horror aficionados and those looking for a thrilling night out.
This show, said Midi, is also deeper than Cirque Italia’s family-friendly productions for audiences and performers alike.
“The adult one, the paranormal one, it makes you work harder. You have to look inside yourself more. It’s exactly how the advertisement says, ‘Let us open the darkest corner of your mind.’ Us as well, we have to go very deep inside of us so that we can transform and put ourselves into character. It’s not about having a smile on your face and spreading all the joy. You have to spread the emotion,” she said. “That’s why it’s more theatrical. It’s deeper than the regular one. This show is a lot of connection and eye contact. You know, by looking inside the eyes of somebody, you might go inside their soul.”
In addition to Midi’s aerial act, Paranormal Cirque guests will witness contortion, death-defying stunts and other haunting performances from international talent. According to Midi, it’s an interesting experience working alongside circus artists from around the globe.
“We’re basically a small community. We’re trying as much as we can to be a family. Family fights sometimes,” she said with a laugh. “But it’s normal and we love each other. It’s so many countries, languages and cultures being put together. I’m learning something new all the time, recipes, new words. It’s interesting.”
Aside from a break in December, when new shows are crafted, the touring units of Cirque Italia are on the road year-round. It’s hard work, but for Midi, the adrenaline felt after wowing audiences with her sky-high stunts each night is all she needs to keep going.
If you go: Paranormal Cirque is coming to the Neshaminy Mall parking lot Sept. 28-Oct. 1. Showtimes are Thursday, Sept. 28, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 29, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 30, at 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Oct. 1, at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. There is a special promotion of $5 off any full-priced ticket purchased in levels 1, 2 or 3 (call 941-704-8572 to get the promo code). For tickets and more information, visit paranormalcirque.com or call the number.
Samantha Bambino can be reached at email@example.com