crque dreams

Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy Opens in Central Florida
Performances at The Lakeland Center and The Mahaffey Theater
Hotspots Central Exclusive Interview by Mike Halterman

The groundbreaking, critically-acclaimed Broadway hit Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy will heat up Central Florida once more, taking two cities by storm! The show will first stop in Lakeland at The Lakeland Center on Tuesday, January 10 at 7:30 p.m. The next night, the curtain will rise on Cirque Dreams as the cast performs at The Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Wednesday, January 11, also at 7:30 p.m.

Created and directed by renowned theatrical and circus impresario Neil Goldberg, Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy is an exotic encounter inspired by nature’s unpredictable creations, brought to life by an international cast of soaring aerialists, spine-bending contortionists, acrobats, jugglers and musicians.

The astounding feats performed in this action-packed production are enhanced with spectacular costumes nominated for an American Theatre Wing Best Costume Design award. The journey comes to life in a fantastical jungle setting filled with flowers, magical trees and a variety of special effects. From the Butterfly Ballet and Flipping Monkeys to Hopping Frogs and Stretching Lizards, this world-class explosion of imagination, athleticism and Broadway theatrics will exhilarate and entertain audiences of all ages.

Tickets start at $29.50 per person and can be purchased by going online to the venues’ websites directly: thelakelandcenter.com and themahaffey.com.

Beau Sargent is only 22 years old, but this gifted Australian dancer, gymnast and acrobat has found his niche performing in the main cast of Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy. The former Australia’s Got Talent hopeful has been in the Cirque Dreams family for four years now, and continues in the “family business” (many past generations have excelled in gymnastics). I spoke with Beau about Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy and his experiences in the show for this exclusive interview in Hotspots Central.

For those who may not know, Dream Studios, where Cirque Dreams shows are conceptualized, is based right here in Florida. Did you rehearse there?

Yes, Dream Studios is located in South Florida, down in Pompano Beach. We do all of our rehearsals there.

How long does it take to rehearse before debuting a show either for a limited engagement or for touring?

Everyone has their own specific acts that they excel in and then from there, the show is crafted around each person’s talents by Neil Goldberg. I’m an aerialist, and I’ve perfected my aerial acts since the age of fifteen. In this production, you’ll see a lot of my aerial work as a bird flying through hoops above the arena.

How did you first become involved in aerial work?

My dad was a trampolinist and a gymnast when he was younger, and I’ve always been enthralled with it. I’ve been involved in aerial work and gymnastics since the age of eleven, so the sustained level of performance I’ve been a part of over the years is a lot. I’ve been practicing for roles like ones in Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy my entire life.

Which number is your favorite to observe?

I love watching the contortion acts. Two Mongolian girls twist and bend all over each other and it really is a sight to behold. In this show, they play lizards, so watch out for them.

What would you say to audiences to ensure that they buy a ticket and see the show?

There’s something for everybody in this show. If you like the circus, there are aspects that you will like, such as aerial work and contortion, and if you like Cirque productions, you won’t be disappointed…the costumes, the lighting, the scenery, everything is so visually appealing. On top of that, all of the performers are bringing their best talents to the audience, so everyone will be entertained.

For more information on Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy and other Cirque Dreams shows, visit cirqueproductions.com.

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Mike Halterman
Mike Halterman has been the editor of Hotspots Central since its launch in July 2016. He joined the Hotspots Media Group family as editor of Hotspots' South Florida magazine in June 2013. A former "40 Under 40" honoree in The Advocate magazine, Mike lives in the Tampa Bay area.