Boston’s Best Circus presents ‘Cirque of the Dead’

Interview by Johnny Monsarrat

We see dozens of traveling circuses come through Boston, but the home grown troupe that I’ve come most to love is the Boston Circus Guild. Two years ago I gave their “Reign of Revelry” show a big 5 stars and found the acts both surprisingly impressive for ‘local’ performers and woven together into an overarching story in a way that variety acts are rarely presented. Even before seeing the show, I have no doubt that you are in for a memorable night and that you must see their limited Halloween performances at OBERON. Founder and Creative Director Chuck Lechien took a few moments to chat.

Events INSIDER: What’s the creative goal of Cirque of the Dead?

Chuck Lechien: “It’s a show I envisioned for the circus even before the Boston Circus Guild was an official entity. I’ve wanted to do something that was sexy but also horror based. I’m a fan of horror movies, especially exploitational slasher pics, and have always wanted to pay tribute to this with circus. This show features new acts by everyone in the cast, plus new performers adding a lot of new talent to our roster this year. They are all super excited to be in their first show. It’s a chance for our artists to have a good time and really play around instead of staying in what’s considered ‘normal’ for circus acts. We spend a lot of our time booking artists for corporate fundraisers and weddings, and a lot of that stuff is pretty straightlaced even though it’s circus performance. So this is our chance to see how far our artists can run with it. Some of the acts are freakshows, some are gross, and there’s also a lot of humor.

Events INSIDER: Is there a story behind Cirque of the Dead that ties together all the acts?

Chuck Lechien: The theme of course is Halloween, but this show is more a variety act than a single story. We have two burlesque acts, contortionists, aerials, all with a terror theme. And different bands will play live music. On Halloween night we feature Johnny Blazes and the Pretty Boys and then on November 1st it’s Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band which will play specially selected spooky songs.

Events INSIDER: With different bands I suppose people will just have to buy tickets to both nights to see it all.

Chuck Lechien: Absolutely.

Events INSIDER: Do you have a single act that you would especially like to feature?

Chuck Lechien: The entire show is so solid that I can’t choose a single act that overpowers the others, but we’re doing a tribute to teenager horror movies with a “sleepover” theme. And juggling with a Friday the 13th theme.

Events INSIDER: Wow! How’s that going to work, exactly?

Chuck Lechien: You’ll have to attend to find out!

Learn more about Cirque of the Dead and buy tickets at websites for The Boston Circus Guild and OBERON.