By Nicole Plegge

What’s more suspenseful than a good legal thriller? From the moment the attorneys present their opening statements, the intrigue, mystery and mayhem grab us tight and don’t let go. But when the courtroom is a circus ring, the lawyers are acrobats and the audience is the jury, the unexpected, gasp-out-loud twists and turns will pull you to the edge of your seat.

During Circus Flora’s 35th season, “The Trial of the Century” turns the traditional courtroom drama into a mesmerizing adventure where your family is at the center of the action. A crime has been committed under the Big Top, but every witness has a different story to tell, and all the evidence points to contradictory conclusions. It’s up to you and your kids to determine what really happened and bring the guilty to justice.

This criminally funny production highlights Circus Flora’s ability to create enthralling narratives that engage audience members while spotlighting inspirational performances that cause jaws to drop and eyes to pop.

“Artistically, we strive to balance the best advances in theatrical production with the best elements of traditional circus arts and to create something that feels both modern and timeless,” said Karen Shoulders, managing director of Circus Flora. “Even in an increasingly digital world of entertainment, there is still very much a place for an immersive experience of a one-ring circus. Our loyal audience – some who have attended every single season production – tell us so!”

Constantly innovating, always entertaining

“The Trial of the Century” features superhuman feats, death-defying stunts and comedy acts, including some performers new to the Circus Flora ring. Physical comedian and magician Jonathan Burns, who has appeared on “America’s Got Talent” and “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” has joined this year’s cast as has an acrobatic feline troupe, The Savitsky Cats out of Ukraine.

Besides its diverse line-up of performers, Circus Flora’s talent of ensuring audience members feel they’re part of the show makes this theater company stand out from the conventional three-ring spectacle.

Explained Shoulders, “Circus Flora is known for its intimacy – there is no seat further than 40 feet from the action. When you are in the Big Top, you can smell the sawdust and cotton candy, feel the pounding of hooves when the horses gallop around the ring, and see the sweat on the brows of the high-wire artists. Circus, in its many forms, has been in existence for hundreds of years and continues to evolve and have a place as a heritage performing art.”

In addition to taking audiences on a wild ride each night, Circus Flora will once again host special performances to meet the needs of its guests. Its Peanut Free Preview on October 7 ensures those with nut allergies have a safe way to see the show while its daytime Little Top Performances October 20 and 27 are geared to younger children. On October 21, Circus Flora is partnering with EasterSeals Midwest and MindsEye Radio for its Sensory-Friendly Performance where sound and lighting are modified and audio descriptions are available, creating a comfortable environment for all.

Tickets for Circus Flora start at $15 and can be purchased now through Before making your way to the Big Top in Grand Center for the show, be sure to visit Circus Flora’s COVID-19 page for the latest updates on masks, social distancing and enhanced safety measures.

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