Cirque Mechanics reimagines one-ring circus

Step right up to “42 FT: A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels” Nov. 6 in Billings

On Stage
Cirque Mechanics: Trapeze artists
Trapeze artists circle the Big Top in “42 FT: A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels.”Photo © Maike Schulz

Alberta Bair Theater’s First Interstate Bank Fox Series continues with Cirque Mechanics “42FT: A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels,” 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6.  A truncated performance, part of ABT’s Valley Credit Union Student Matinee Series, begins at 12:30.

At the center of every circus rests a 42-foot ring full of thrills, laughs, and excitement. “42 FT: A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels” is the latest invention from the creative minds of Cirque Mechanics who dare the audience to leap into the circus ring and experience the timelessness of this evolving art form.

The show’s unique mechanical interpretations of the traditional circus arts, and its story full of the lore of the historic one-ring circus, create a welcoming place, like a big top, that lends itself to amazement. The action showcases a galloping mechanical metal horse with a juggling ballerina and a rotating tent frame for strongmen, acrobats and aerialists.

Cirque Mechanics’ signature style – acrobatics, mechanical marvels, and a bit of clowning around – is again the heart of this fun-loving show for all ages. Alberta Bair Theater has presented all of the Las Vegas-based company’s previous productions: Birdhouse Factory, Boomtown, and Pedal Punk.

Cirque Mechanics was founded in 2004 by Boston native and German Wheel artist Chris Lashua, after the success of his collaborative project with the Circus Center of San Francisco, Birdhouse Factory. Cirque Mechanics quickly established itself as a premiere American circus, with its unique approach to performance, inspiring storytelling and innovative mechanical staging. Spectacle Magazine hailed it as “the greatest contribution to the American circus since Cirque du Soleil”.

Although inspired by modern circus, Cirque Mechanics finds its roots in the mechanical and its heart in the stories of American ingenuity.  The shows, rooted in realism, display a raw quality rarely found in modern circus, that makes their message timeless and relevant.

Tickets, $40/$30 and $25 for students with valid I.D., are available at the Alberta Bair Theater Box Office or by phone at 406-256-6052, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, or online at

General admission tickets for the matinee are $6 and can be purchased by phone or at the Box Office window. Matinee seating is based on availability and bused students are seated first.