Clown Princes

Stop us if you’ve heard this one: A French clown and a Hungarian equestrian ballerina get hitched in Venice and form Zoppé, an Italian family circus -- a proper circus, alive with clowns, acrobats, equestrian escapades, and cavorting canines, all wrapped around a story instead of some high-concept contortionist acid trip.

If any family has sawdust in their blood, it’s the Zoppés, who have owned, run, and performed in their circus since 1842. Patriarch Alberto came to America after Cecil B. DeMille paid him an elephant to be in "The Greatest Show on Earth." His son Giovanni, aka Nino the Clown, was born in The Bozo Show parking lot while Alberto performed inside.

Sun., Dec. 26, 12 & 4 p.m.; Mon., Dec. 27, 7 p.m.; Tue., Dec. 28, 7 p.m.; Wed., Dec. 29, 7 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 30, 7 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 31, 12, 4 & 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 1, 12 & 4 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 2, 12 & 4 p.m., 2010
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Nicholas Gerbis