The Art of Circus

THEATER

Cirque du Soleil's current visit to St. Pete has proven to be so popular that two extra performances have been added. In Varekai, trapeze artists and acrobats and gymnasts and contortionists and other flexible performers become fantastic creatures that crawl, slither, glide, lurch, stroll and pace the stage. They emerge from a bamboo jungle, or climb thin shafts and sway to the beat of lively Romany-inspired music played by a virtually invisible seven-piece band. And that's only the intro of the production, which is very loosely based on the story of Icarus. If you can deal with being wedged against your neighbor like a sardine — and paying $5 for a hot dog — this is definitely a show you don't want to miss. Dec. 20-21: 8 p.m.; Dec. 22-24 and 29: 4 p.m.; Dec. 25 and 31: 1 and 5 p.m.; Dec. 27-28 and 30: 4 and 8 p.m. Tropicana Field, 1 Tropicana Drive, St. Petersburg, $35-$70, 800-678-5440, cirquedusoleil.com.

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