A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

Cirque Berzerk/photo by Brion Topolski

Cirque Berzerk/photo by Brion Topolski

Cirque Berzerk’s big top event is nothing short of amazing.  Parts rock show, horror show, burlesque, vaudeville, and gothic opera, it is an intricately drawn  stage show with a dark, sexy, and surreal twist. You won’t be able to take your eyes off the athletic and gorgeously sculpted acrobats, aerialists twirling on ribbons, and burlesque dancers. You’ll be dazzled by a voluptuous contortionist and dancers with fire. And the punk rock clown on stilts will make you laugh, despite his evil face. This is not Barnum and Bailey’s; this is circus LA style.

Take a look at some of the photos on Cirque Berzerk’s website.  The images of acts like Lust, Evil, and Death make it pretty clear how well thought-out and sophisticated this group’s vision is, from the cinematic-quality costumes, makeup , and masks to the live, original music and stylish choreography (by Neal Everett). The whole experience is a work of art on stage, a creative and enthralling visual and aural spectacle.

This local troupe of 35 performers assembled by Suzanne Bernel and Kevin Bourque  premiered its sophisticated big top show at the former cornfield (Los Angeles State Historic Park) downtown last summer and had to keep extending the shows as the excitement  spread. They’re back starting Thursday, June 18, for at least three weekends. If you are a fan of Bruegel or Dali, Burton or Kubrick, or Shelley or Stoker, you’ve got to see Cirque Berzerk.

There are parties before and after the show, which starts at 8 p.m., in the “The Berzerk Lounge,” a club-like atmosphere adjacent to the big top tent. There are drinks for purchase, and areas to eat dinner if you bring it with you. Vaud & The Villains play live music at the post-show party.

Update: Shows have been extended through Aug. 9. Showtimes are now: Thursdays at 8:30 p.m., Fridays at 8:30 p.m., Saturdays at 7 and 10 p.m., and Sundays at 8 p.m.