Cirque Alcatraz comes to Gainesville this weekend

Cirque Italia will debut Cirque Alcatraz, a production filled with high-energy acts from swinging from ropes, to flipping over trapezes, and zipping by on BMX bikes and roller skates.

Founder Manuel Rebecchi—the nephew of Moira Orfei, the world-renowned queen of the Italian circus—combined his family’s pedigree with his own ideas to form a company that pushes the boundaries of human ability.

This year the Sarasota-based company is debuting its show in Gainesville.

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“We’re switching things up,” media representative Sarah Kessler said on Tuesday. “We usually go to Ocala but switched to Gainesville this year, then Jacksonville and on to Tallahassee.”

The Gainesville premiere will take place from July 22 to 25 at the Oaks Mall.

Cirque Alcatraz takes the audience on a journey of the true story of one man’s real-life nightmare of wrongful conviction and subsequent confinement after being sentenced to life in Alcatraz prison.

Since its opening in 2012, Cirque Italia has received national attention for its ability of fusing traditional circus acts with new and unexpected mediums.

Cirque Alcatraz features aerial acts, stunts and displays of human strength and balance, plus comedy, while guiding the audience through the narrative.

Cirque Italia is enforcing all health recommendations set forth by the CDC and local municipalities.

“Every member of the Cirque Italia family is committed to the health and wellness of our fans,” a press release about the event states. “As such, we have made certain adjustments and accommodations in order to comply with the safety guidelines set forth by local and state officials.”

The adjustments and accommodations include some of the following:

  • Restricted seating capacity
  • Socially distanced seating with visual cues throughout tent
  • Mask mandate (available for purchase if needed)
  • Increased number of hand sanitizing stations in and around tent
  • All common areas wiped down and disinfected every 10-15 minutes

This production is rated “R” due to the raw content of the story. Although there is no nudity, there is adult language, acts of simulated violence, and suggestive dialogue and situations. Cirque Italia is requiring any child of the age of 13 and up be accompanied by an adult of 21 years or older. Anyone below the age of 13 will not be granted access.

The show times are:

  • July 22 – Thursday: 7:30 p.m.
  • July 23 – Friday: 7:30 p.m. 
  • July 24 – Saturday: 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
  • July 25 – Sunday: 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

For more information, visit or the company’s social media accounts. Tickets can be purchased now starting at $10 on the website or by phone: (941) 704-8572. 

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