Once upon a time, more than 150 years ago, a street clown from France and an equestrienne ballerina from Hungary met, fell in love and ran off to Venice to marry, start a family and launch a circus.
The Zoppe Family Circus is still going strong today, and UApresents brings it here this weekend
This is your old-fashioned kind of circus: clowns, acrobatics, fancy horse work, and dogs doing tricks. If you are looking for tamed lions or tap-dancing elephants, Zoppe is not it.
“The Zoppe circus evokes something from a picture book: the clown, the trapeze, the dancing dogs, the ring and the tent,” said a New York Times article.
“The show is frozen in time.”
The Zoppe is sort of a one-ring wonder, and it’s still all in the family — well, almost. About half of the close to 30 members of the circus are Zoppes, and the rest are considered family, Giovanni Zoppe has said.
The troupe travels about 22 weeks a year and gathers up fans wherever it goes — including in Tucson, where it has made a few stops.
To compound the fun with the circus this weekend, UApresents’ Children’s Festival will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday outside the big top in Reid Park. Expect lots of fun — and to learn a few things, too.
Zoppe performs at 7 p.m. Friday; 1, 4 and 7 p.m. Saturday, and 1 and 4 p.m. Sunday at Reid Park, East 22nd Street and South Country Club Road. Look for the big top. Tickets are $25 to $30 and are available at uapresents.org, 621-3341, or at the door two hours before the first show of each day.