Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Good old-fashioned circus entertainment at 'MagiKaria'

I was fortunate to have been invited to the gala performance of Circus Vargas' Magikaria, A Fantastical Magical Experience last Dec. 23. A two-hour showcase of some good old-fashioned circus entertainment, it was loaded with acrobats, music, clowns, illusions, and more.

Prepping up the contraption for that classic magician's assistant's disappearing and reappearing act.

It was a rather small setup, with several rows of monoblock chairs flanking all three sides of the stage. It may not have been the most ideal seating arrangement but it was well-suited to the show's intimate and interactive premise. Everyone in the audience can very well see what's happening onstage at any given time.

The show opened in a surprisingly low-key manner with just a single performer who immediately surveyed the audience for all sorts of stuff that he could balance on his chin. From the simplest objects like a baseball cap, he sure was able to hold the audience's attention by quickly progressing to bolder things like a shopping cart and a ladder--to much applause of course! A musical number soon followed.

MagiKaria is not one big choreographed script but a medley of different acts reminiscent of circuses of yore. Staying true to such old-school entertainment, you have a showmaster who sings and struts his stuff onstage, showgirls garbed in traditional circus fashion, acrobats of all sorts, and a bit of fire and magic thrown into the mix. It really was quite entertaining, so to speak. And judging from the reactions of the children in attendance, I can safely say that kids will enjoy this.

And oh, there was also this one performer who was quite a hit with the ladies. Oh, the shrieks every time he came out completely shirtless or even in some chest-bearing outfit. Moms, behave.

The singing showmaster with an acrobat.

Yes, MagiKaria has got showgirls and clowns.

I really wonder what his chin's made of. I mean, that's a ladder for Pete's sake!

As if a ladder wasn't enough, now this! Yes, it's one of those metal barriers they put up at concerts.

The performer who got the most attention, from the ladies primarily.

Abs aside, you gotta admire this guy's strength.

After juggling clubs, he moved on to rings...

...And then fire.

However clowns scare you, don't worry; he's no Heath Ledger.

My favorite performer. I was just awed by how strong and flexible she was.

Not just mine but she was also My Bibe's girl.

Oh look, it's a slinky! The hula hoop girl upped the ante by taking in a lot of hoops.

There was also a bit of drama for show.

The armor came to life...

...And revealed Adam Lambert, with abs! Maybe it's the hair but he sure reminds me of Adam from afar.

Magician's assistant goes inside box.
Magician shoots fiery spears through the box.
Magician opens box to reveal no one's inside.
Magician closes box and voila, assistant reappears! Classic!

My girl doing another number. I don't know what those are called but they're staples in circuses.

V for Vendetta sans the mask. He was quite the showman, though.

Just one of several number where members of the audience were called to participate.

Absolutely no harness.

Mr Clown wooing the lady bird--in vain.

The family that does acrobats together, stays together. They're Pinoys, by the way.

These guys from Kenya were quite fun to watch. Tough balancing act in a ferociously fast-paced routine.

Just how is it possible for just one guy to carry four huge men?

The MagiKaria cast at the end of the show, all clad in white. Applause...

My Bibe and I enjoying a selfie moment during a 15-minute intermission after the show's first half. We definitely had a good time.

MagiKaria runs from Dec. 25 to Jan. 1 (except Dec. 31) with two to three shows a day at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. So while Metro Manila cinemas are inundated by MMFF crap at Christmastime, here's some alternative quality--and old-school--entertainment that's perfect for the whole family.

Show Schedules
Dec. 25, 28, 29, 30 and Jan. 1 (1pm | 4pm | 7pm)
Dec. 25 and 27 (4pm | 7pm)

Ticket Prices
VIP (Php 1,990) | Ringside (Php 1,790) | Platinum (Php 1,290) | Gold (Php 990) | Silver (Php 590)

Tickets are now available at SM Tickets, SM Cinema, and Snack Time outlets. For inquiries, call Tropical Productions, Inc. at 519-8984, email, or visit

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