By: Bob Duffy

… Because “Undercover,” Circus Flora’s brilliant contribution to the circus arts, is in the final days of its run under the Big Top in Grand Center.

Circus Flora, the St. Louis region’s own world-famous circus, has been bringing the kinetic magic of the circus to thousands of children of all ages for decades.

If you want to experience this year’s magic, Step Right Up right now to buy your tickets. The final show is June 25 – that is Sunday.

Be there and you will see: dogs big and small in HogDiggity Dog’s act. Four performing camels, two dromedaries, and two Bactrians. A daredevil motorcycle act that roars around the inside of the Globe of Speed. Four generations of highwire Wallendas. One performer who performs a ballet hanging by her hair. The St. Louis Arches, an ensemble that gives new luster to hula hoops and jump ropes.

All this, plus a trio of the most clownish undercover agents on record, an ensemble that gives the fountains of Versailles a run for their money.

Each act, each actor, presents you a tumultuously  imaginative, multi-faceted entertainment that makes you feel as if you are swinging high above the world’s problems on a soaring, rapidly flying trapeze.

Some things have changed. For example, Flora, the faithful elephant circus-founder David Balding saved from cruel poachers as a calf, has been retired for several seasons now.

But as if to prove the proverb that goes,

“The more things change the more they are the same.” The magic spells remain the same and continue their joy- and talent-filled ways.

The golden thread that binds the circus seasons together is a special theatrical device, the specially written and produced show-in-a-show. Circus Flora stalwart Cecil MacKinnon, who, by the way, is executive director Jack Marsh’s mother, is the script writer. Her son, Marsh, says his family has sawdust in their veins. The show is narrated by YoYo, a familiar figure to regulars at the Big Top.

You have only a few days to go undercover and see what the spies are up to when they go foolishly sleuthing around.

The various stories come back year after year and put a special unique-to-Flora stamp upon the Circus. Indeed, they’re the magic vehicles that carry the shows from year to year and bring them into the big top’s ring.

Jack Marsh and the irrepressibly stellar story spinner,   MacKinnon, oversee the jugglers, equestrians, dogs, high wire artists, aerial ballet performers, clowns and the incredible gravity-defying artistry of the St. Louis Arches.

You have only a few days to cloak yourself in this year’s  drama of high/low espionage. If you’ve been already, tell your friends that in addition to its famous silvery Arch, St. Louis has its own resplendent one-ring circus.

As audiences have discovered for 37 years, everybody needs to see the Circus. It’s good for you, and plenty of fun for all. See you soon – but before the finale on June 25.