Finale bow

Photo by Carly Carver.

ASHLAND The Vampire Circus performance on Saturday at the Paramount Arts Center left fans laughing, gasping, and even ... howling.

The Paramount Arts Center offered fans a unique and interactive experience with the show, which was set in an abandoned cemetery where “an extraordinary circus comes back to life.”

The Vampire Circus offered a highly engaging performance for spectators, bringing several on stage to participate. Dracula, otherwise known as Francisco Santos, the CEO founder of The Vampire Circus and a Cirque Du Soleil veteran, led two young girls on stage to shoot out candle flames with a water gun. Dracula also brought a group of three onto the stage, giving them each roles in a performance. One man was assigned the role of werewolf and led a howling performance. Dracula coached the performers through their roles, and then took off his coat and had an audience member hold it.

“The show was full of comedy, audience participation and amazing performances,” said Debbie Perkins Qualls, who attended the event with her daughter. “It’s a show I would recommend to anyone that loves acrobatics and comedy. The performers really interacted with the audience in between set changes and with those of us up front at the vip tables. It was a good break for myself and my daughter and two granddaughters.”

Several other members of the audience graced the stage as well. The Vampire Circus also ventured through the crowd on several occasions to engage with the audience, including the dousing of “Holy Water” onto spectators.

David Miller, Marketing and Community Engagement Coordinator with the Paramount Arts Center, said the venue sold approximately 900 tickets.

“We were thrilled with the turnout,” said Miller. “We understand that when we bring something unique and different to town, it requires our community to have a certain level of faith in the quality of events we’re booking at the Paramount, and to have that many people trust us with their time and money is something we take very seriously and couldn’t have been happier with this show. The show far exceeded our already high expectations.”

There were multiple families who attended the show thanks to the Paramount Arts Center encouraging family attendance with an exclusive student discount at the rate of $25 to The Vampire Circus. There was also a box-office special that included half-price student tickets with the purchase of an adult ticket.

Bryan Hall attended the event with his family, including his two daughters — ages 5 and 7.

“They loved it,” Hall said.

Hall said the event was “amazing.”

“My reaction was really just wow,” said Hall. “It was so much more than I expected. This was a great event for the PAC I felt like, to continue with a variety of shows for our area.”

The PAC has also made efforts to bring The Vampire Circus back to the theatre.

“We’re already talking with them about coming back next year, maybe for a Christmas-themed show this time,” said Miller. “They’re an extremely talented group and they have multiple shows that they tour with so we will absolutely have them back as soon as possible.”

“Ashland, you are amazing, one of the best audiences ever,” wrote The Vampire Circus on its Facebook page.

Visit thevampirecircus.com for more information on the show.

The next Halloween-themed performance at the PAC is Carrie: The Musical (rated R).

The Paramount Players will present it on Oct. 31 with screenings at 7:30 p.m. and at 12 a.m. There will also be a screening Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are priced at $25 online.

Tickets can be purchased at http://www.paramountartscenter.com/ or at the box office located at 1300 Winchester Ave.

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