Tag Archives: circus

Zoppé: An Italian Family Circus with Nino the Clown

Clown Jay Walter (bottom) controls the rope while his wife, Tosca Zoppé performs her aerial routine at the Zoppé Family Circus in Westhampton Beach, July 25, 2013. Photo by Jeffrey Basinger / Newsday
Clown Jay Walter (bottom) controls the rope while his wife, Tosca Zoppé performs her aerial routine at the Zoppé Family Circus in Westhampton Beach, July 25, 2013. Photo by Jeffrey Basinger / Newsday

Remember beloved Nino the Clown from Circus Flora performances? See him and the entertaining Zoppè Family Circus at the 2014 Florissant Valley of Flowers Festival, Friday, May 2 at 7 pm and Saturday, May 3 at 11 am, 2 pm, and 5 pm. Look for the Big Top located at Florissant Valley Park at the James J. Eagan Center, Parker Road and Waterford Drive. Free admission to all performances. For more information, call the Florissant Civic Center Box Office, 314.921.5678.

The Zoppè Family Circus welcomes guests into the intimate 500 seat tent (no seat is further than 20 feet from the action) for a one-ring circus that honors the best history of the Old-World Italian tradition. Starring Nino the clown, the circus is propelled by a central story that feature acrobatic feats, equestrian showmanship, cainine capers, clowning, and plenty of audience participation. Giovanni Zoppè, the sixth-generation circus performer who plays Nino, says the show aims higher than what passes for circuses these days. “We try to touch every emotion during the show,” he says. “They’ll laugh, they’ll cry, and they’ll feel for the characters. It’s more of an event than a show.”

The Zoppè Family Circus emerged from humble beginnings more than 160 years ago to become one of the legendary circuses in all of Europe.

See these wonderful photos of the Zoppè Family Circus from Jeffrey Basinger.

Learn more about the Zoppè Family Circus:



Circus Flora, a little magic for your soul

Are you a fan of the Tiger Lillies, Tom Waits, Krzysztof Kieslowski, the accordion, whimsy, and um, face paint? Or, do you just like a little no brainer entertainment, sawdust, laughter, animal antics, and popcorn? Then here’s something for you. I mean, for your child.

St. Louis’s very own nonprofit, unique one-ring circus, Circus Flora, opens its summer show on June 2. Tickets for these delightful performances are on sale now. Celebrating their 25th Season, Circus Flora gives you heartfelt twisting acrobatics, humorous clowns, amazing “choreographed” animals, solid music performances, rope and ribbon dancing, and maybe a little bit of inspiration, among other circus thrills. Circus Flora isn’t exactly about the utmost precision in performance, but there is a genuine, mysterious, magical, and memorable quality about this company.

This year’s production, “Vagabond Adventures,” reunites Circus Flora favorites: the Flying Wallendas, the St. Louis Arches, the Flying Pages, and the famous clown, Giovanni Zoppé as Nino, along with several new acts.

Tickets start at $8 and shows run June 2 through June 26. Children under 2 are free when seated on an adult lap.

Some tips:

1. If you’re bringing a child under the age of 5, consider the Wednesday at 10 am performances. These are one hour shows and cost considerably less.

2. If you don’t mind sitting up close, try one of the side box seats. They are less expensive than the center boxes but since the show is essentially in the round, you don’t really miss much in terms of sightlines. Your child will be amazed at watching dogs and other animals run around the ring right in front of them.

3. If you have allergies to dust, fur, or hay, etc… take your Nasonex or SOMETHING before the show. The tent is air conditioned but the animals and performers stir up a lot of allergens.

4. If you are one of those types who prefers to drive round and round for free parking, arrive early! There is a nearby paid lot as well.

5. In case your child is wondering, yes… there are port-a-potties. Bring your hand sanitizer.

6. Last year, there were pony rides adjacent to the tent. Bring your camera (and your cash).

7. There is NO photography allowed inside the tent during the performances.

Photos: Scott Raffe