HomeBensalem TimesParanormal Cirque III returning to Bensalem this weekend

Paranormal Cirque III returning to Bensalem this weekend

Aerialist Roxana Midi, who is portraying Regan from ‘The Exorcist,’ shares details on this spooky production

Spooky summer: Paranormal Cirque III takes place June 27-30 at the Neshaminy Mall under the tent. Source: Jeremy Bacon

We’re all familiar with the warm-weather celebration of Christmas in July. But now, locals can enjoy a spooky June when Paranormal Cirque III comes to the Neshaminy Mall this weekend.

Paranormal Cirque III, which last made a Bensalem stop in fall 2023, is one of several shows 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. The hair-raising Paranormal Cirque III sees the artists transform into zombies, witches, vampires, ghosts and other creatures of the night as they perform acrobatics, contortion, illusions, death-defying stunts and more.

Returning to Bensalem is Romanian aerialist Roxana Midi, who has nearly a decade under her belt entertaining Cirque Italia audiences. Last year, under the White & Black Big Top Tent, she portrayed “The Dark Angel,” a character searching for love. This time around, she’ll be performing acrobats over 30 feet in the air as someone who has been terrifying the masses since 1973: Regan in The Exorcist

“I’m fighting my demons over here, you know?,” she told The Times with a laugh. “I still do my same aerial act. I’m using the same props. But I’m a different character, so I have to express myself differently. I like the idea of fighting with the demons, to be a little bit nuts in the beginning, to be beat up by the demons, but to still get back up. It’s interesting.” 

Despite being a staple in Cirque Italia’s darker offering of Paranormal Cirque III, Midi is admittedly not the biggest fan of horror films, and felt freaked out after watching the film that inspired her new on-stage persona. 

“I am a coward when it comes to watching horror movies,” she said. “I work in a show with scary stuff, but I’m a coward for these things!”

A performance of horror: Aerialist Roxana Midi is taking on the role of Regan from ‘The Exorcist.’ Source: Jeremy Bacon

Midi stressed that, if someone saw the fall 2023 production, the upcoming show will not feel repetitive. There are fresh characters and acts, and a constant drive for the performers to up the ante and improve their art. Much of the latter is done by maintaining physical strength, but even more so mental strength and the ability to exude emotions to audience members. 

“It’s a lot of working with your mind,” Midi said. “I really want to show my expressions.”

She recalled a recent performance, when her portrayal of Regan — and intense eye contact — felt very real to a woman in one of the first few rows.

“My watch on this lady was so terrifying,” said Midi. “I could see her pushing herself back in the seat and grabbing her husband’s hand. For me, it was a little bit funny, but I have to be focused on what I’m doing. I cannot just start laughing.”

Still, it’s these instances that let Midi know she did her job.

“It’s a very big accomplishment to have such an emotional impact on people, to see at the finale everybody up from their seats and clapping,” she said. “And they don’t stop! And you’re like, ‘OK, we did a good job.’ You can see the vibration and energy. When I return home, I’m tired, but I’m accomplished.” 

Along with her fellow Cirque Italia performers, Midi travels from one town to another, usually once a week, throughout the entire year. From an outsider’s perspective, it could sound like a grueling schedule. But when you’re helping people forget about the burdens of reality for two hours each night, it’s all worth it.

“A live show will always be something that delights your soul,” said Midi. “It’s fun, it’s interactive, it’s full of mystery, it’s full of unexpected stuff. You come and you spend two hours relaxed. You’re relieving yourself of some daily stress, and you have a good laugh as well. Most adults, they need this. I see how they’re working so hard to reach their goals. Maybe they have one, two jobs, problems at home, children. It’s stressful. So we come here to help you out and lessen it a little bit.”

In addition to the show, guests can experience a pre-show haunted maze, featuring jump scares by the performers.

For those planning to attend, Midi requested one thing: “Don’t forget to bring your curiosity.”

If you go: Paranormal Cirque III takes place in the Neshaminy Mall parking lot on Thursday, June 27, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, June 28, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, June 29, at 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.; and Sunday, June 30, at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Tickets ranging from $25 to $60 are available at paranormalcirque.com or by calling 941-704-8572. There is a special promotion of $5 off any full-priced ticket purchased in levels 1, 2 or 3. Attendees under 18 require an accompanying parent or guardian, as this show has adult language and material. 

Samantha Bambino can be reached at sbambino@newspapermediagroup.com

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