Hyde Park Herald and Kimbark Plaza partner to send 100 people to UniverSoul Circus

Ringmaster Lucky Malatsi, and his sidekick Zeke introduce two girls from the audience as they wait to dance during UniversalSoul Circus’s appearance under the big top in Washington Park, Thursday, Oct. 5. – Marc Monaghan

By JOSEPH PHILLIPS
Staff Writer

The Hyde Park Herald and Kimbark Plaza have partnered to send 100 people to UniverSoul Circus, which will have shows in Washington Park, 555 E. 51st St., through Oct. 29.

To participate in the weekly drawing, stop by participating businesses in Kimbark Plaza that have UniverSoul flyers in their windows and fill out an entry form or fill out the entry form inside the Hyde Park Herald newspaper and drop it off at participating businesses.

Free tickets will be given away every Monday through Oct. 23, seven entry forms will be drawn and each winner will be given four tickets.

Winners will be notified by phone.

“We always try to partner with businesses in the community and give back to our residents,” said Charles Newsome, Kimbark Plaza Board President.

Newsome, who has visited the circus with his children in the past, said UniverSoul Circus is a great venue to have in the Washington Park neighborhood and its important to keep institutions such as the circus going.

Newsome said he hopes the winners and their guests “enjoy the experience and gain memories that will last them a lifetime.”

This year the circus, which is in its 24th season, is led by 27-year-old Ringmaster Lucky Malatsi and features acts including The Fresh Clownsss, from Detroit; Xtreme Bikes, from Chicago and upstate New York; and Bone Breaking Contortionists, from Guinea. There will also be animal acts including elephants (USA), horses (Gabon, Guinea, Russia), and a mixed animal act (Mexico), which features Zebras and Camels. Other acts will include Sifiso, an impressionist and dance choreographer, who will select several participants from the crowd to play the dancing game “follow-the-leader,” the Jessie White Tumblers (JW tumblers), who plans is to impress the crowd with a series of disciplined tumbling acts and several gut-wrenching acrobatic aerial assaults, and the Caribbean Dynasty, a group of dancers who expects to marvel the crowd with their vibrant and colorful costumes while performing their ceremonial national dance of the Caribbean. The group would also feature a limbo act, where dancers perform acts under a blaze of fire six inches from the floor.

UniverSoul is a highly interactive combination of circus arts, theater, and music that spans genres including Pop, Classic R&B, Latin, Hip Hop, Jazz and Gospel, according to its website. It embraces and celebrates the unique and familiar aspects of pop culture globally by bringing them center stage with a cast of international performers. UniverSoul Circus is rated as one of the top two circuses along with Cirque du Soleil. 

On Oct. 5, UniverSoul Circus in partnership with Chicago area shelters, hosted its “2017 UniverSoul Circus Cares Family Fun Day,” for 2,000 transitional shelter children and their families.

The UniverSoul Circus Cares Family Fun Day was created by founder and chief executive officer Cedric Walker, who was overwhelmed by the sheer number of homeless families with children that struggled in cities across the country.

“The UniverSoul Circus Cares Family Fun Day is our way of reaching out to Chicagoland and helping those in need as best we can,” said Walker in an email. “There are many great organizations that thankfully are willing to help provide basic necessities to these transitional families, but we can offer them something unique with a night out together at the circus.”

Throughout the show, the children were greeted by Ringmaster Lucky Malatsi, and his sidekick Zeke, who introduced several acts to the stage.

Walker said that the goal of the Oct. 5, event was to provide a fun escape for homeless children and their families in hopes they would put their struggles of their day-to-day lives aside to enjoy a few hours of fun at the circus.

Walker said his desire was to see both the children and their families experience a night of unbelievable, unexpected, unforgettable fun under the UniverSoul Circus big top tent.

For more information visit universoulcircus.com.

j.phillips@hpherald.com