Bell Bank Park hosting EV circus family’s show

Circus Americana, founded by the Chandler-based Taylor Family looks to recapture the magic and nostalgia of a family circus with three weeks of performances at Bell Bank Park in Mesa. (Special to the Tribune)

Circus Americana believes that the Big Top is its living room – and each person who steps into its tent becomes a part of its family.

Presented by the Chandler-based Taylor Family, the all-human extravaganza creates the nostalgia of a vintage circus while presenting a contemporary twist. From death-defying acrobatic feats to innovative acts, to comedic flair, Circus Americana invites guests of all ages to encounter an enchanting blend of illusion and spectacle.

Circus Americana has slated for performances every Thursday to Sunday from Thursday, March 16, to Sunday, April 2, at Bell Bank Park in Mesa.

“I think people love having experiences, and we think this is just an absolutely wonderful experience – coming to the circus is an experience,” said the Taylor family patriarch, Martin, who is a fire artist, juggler and stilt walker. “People can come to enjoy the thrill, the excitement, the love, the tenderness of the show itself with their family, and they’ll bring home memories for a lifetime.”

Launched as The Taylor Family Circus in the early 2000s, Circus Americana consists of Martin and his wife, Barbara, and their seven children. The kids range from school-age to adults and all perform in the show.

The Taylors are joined by over a dozen other individuals who accompany them as performers on stage and manage concessions and merchandise.

Martin said their production is geared toward families, adding that it will appeal to those who like a “fun, loving, wholesome, apple-pie type of show.”

Kicking off with a mesmerizing stage illusion and magic show segment, the numbers range from vampires contorting in impossible positions, to an exciting aerial fire-eating performance.

Elia Taylor, the family’s eldest daughter and a choreographer, acrobat and contortionist, performs a skillful pointe ballet routine on the tightrope. She is one of the few individuals in the world who has mastered this art.

“We also usually have one of my cousins, he is a strongman, one of the most amazing in the world. We’re so honored that he’ll be doing this show with us,” Elia said. “He does bending metal and is a fabulous whip artist – he puts out candles with a single whip, it is pretty amazing. I hold my breath when he does his act.”

Guests can hop into the circus ring for a meet-and-greet and photo opportunity with the strongman, pirates, mermaid, music box dolls and the rest of the cast.

“Circus is such an amazing art form, there’s so many different facets of it. And when you’re given the opportunity to practice circus, you want to be able to do a little bit of everything,” Elia said. “

What sets Circus Americana apart from other productions is its intimacy and the opportunity for its performers to connect with audience members.

“When you’re in our circus tent, because every seat is only like 5 to 10 feet away, everyone is so close that you could reach out and touch them, so you can see them,” Elia said.

They love interacting with their audiences and value each individual person.

With the circus’ personable setting, the cast has witnessed little girls in awe at the acrobats and wanting to go up high in the air just like them; little boys thrilled to shake the strongman’s hand and be lifted by him; and excited grandmothers who want to go on stage and hang out with the clowns.

“As a performer, you get to see that wonder and enjoyment on every one of those faces,” Elia said. “It’s very rewarding, it’s why we love what we do. It’s pretty beautiful.”

“We believe that as circus performers and as children of God, that we are supposed to take care of people,” Elia said. “The moment you’re in our circus, you’re family, and we’re here to take care of you because we love you already.”

While they’ve spent more time on the road in recent years, the Taylors love to perform in their home state in Arizona.

“We’re just thrilled to be able to do what we love to do and to share that, and we’re excited that Bell Bank Park is giving us that opportunity,” Martin said.

“It’s an absolutely stunning and beautiful facility, and it’s going to be an absolutely wonderful experience for anybody who comes out – they will enjoy the show and the park.”

If You Go...

What: Circus Americana

Where: Bell Bank Park, 6321 S. Ellsworth Road, Mesa

When: Various times Thursday through Sunday from March 16 to April 2

Cost: $25 general admission (bleachers), $45 VIP (seats)


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.