For all the merriment, utter joyfulness, and three-ring thrills it provides, circuses have always been a bit seamy and sordid since the days of P.T. Barnum, despite the patina of wholesome family fun. There’s the Gypsy vibe of the entire show, not to mention the rampant allegations of animal abuse, and the bizarre and bawdy nature of some the old timey acts that used to be part of the show. (Don’t get us started on those freaky-ass carnies.)
This seedy side of the circus is the inspiration behind Under the Big Top, the latest sultry and stunning production from the Valley’s resident striptease troupe Scandalesque, which debuts Friday, March 29, at Phoenix Center for the Arts and offers a “sexy dark look inside the underbelly” of the greatest show on Earth.
Envisioned and arranged by renowned choreographer David Rey Garcia, the ecdysiast extravaganza stars the members of the local burlesque ensemble and involves an ingénue seeking to escape the clutches of a dastardly ringmaster. Along with this torrid tale, the production also boasts such lurid spectacles as drug-induced orgies, killer mermaids, and “whimsical nymph clowns.”