I have a big problem with "regular" circuses that beat elephants, starve lions and drug dogs, but the Jim Rose Circus is one I can get behind. Consenting adult humans doing crazy shit to and with their bodies for my entertainment? Bring it on! For almost 20 years, Rose and his cast of freaks have been contorting, torturing, abusing and appreciating themselves and each other for audiences worldwide, including an important role in early Lollapalooza tours.
Although the show includes traditional sideshow stunts, many of the performers have gone way beyond tradition, pulling off such feats as hanging heavy weights from nipple piercings and pumping various substances into one's stomach and back out via a swallowed tube. And, although clearly not suited for children, prudes or the faint-of-heart, people often find themselves surprisingly intrigued by the acts, which bring out a sideshow mentality in the best of us. But, again, the JRC takes shame out of the equation. Instead of exploited freaks-of-nature, these performers are willing freaks-by-choice, probably entertaining themselves as much as anyone else. See the Jim Rose Circus with a clear conscience Friday at The Granada Theater. The free show is 21 and up only, with doors open at 7 p.m. and the show at 8 p.m. Visit granadatheater.com for tickets and details.
Fri., Oct. 24, 8 p.m., 2008