UniverSoul Circus

I had to go out of town suddenly this week, so my husband took our three kids (14, 11, and 8) to the UniverSoul Circus for a complimentary press-review performance. Here are his thoughts:

Sandwiched between the horrifying news this week of cops killing black people and a black person taking revenge on cops, my kids and I spent a blissfully joyful 2 ½ hours at the UniverSoul Circus performing at National Harbor. We were part of a diverse weeknight crowd that was mostly African American, and I imagine everyone was as relieved to escape the grim news cycle as I was.

The neatest thing about the show? Between circus acts, the ringmaster and the clowns celebrated black culture (though without saying so, of course) by leading the crowd in sing-alongs of classic R&B songs and picking out audience members for lip-sync battles and dance contests.

The best part of the show? When a woman from the audience, barely able to totter into the ring on stiletto heels (when asked her name, she answered, “Big Shirley”) danced so hard for a man from the audience, whom she had just met, that her wig flew off her head. It absolutely killed. I thought the big top would collapse from the sound of the shrieking laughter, my own included.  Authentic, homegrown joy.

Naturally, the actual show itself was great too. In particular, the shirtless Cuban acrobats and prancing puppies were fun, and a big hit with my three kids. But what I’ll remember most about our night at the UniverSoul Circus is that it provided a cheerful respite from an otherwise bleak week.  Thank God for the UniverSoul Circus. 


  • UniverSoul Circus is in DC now through July 31st. It’s located at 300 Waterfront Street National Harbor, MD 20745. On-site parking is available.

  • Tickets ($20-$35) are available at Ticketmaster or the on-site box office.

  • Children ages 12 months to 10 years require a ticket to enter the Big Top.

  • Doors open one (1) hour before your scheduled show time. Shows begin promptly at its scheduled time.

  • Arriving as early as possible is recommended to avoid heavy traffic and long lines.

  • Will Call tickets (Ticketmaster ordered) are available for pickup one (1) hour prior to your scheduled show time.

  • Our touring on-site box office is open from 9am – 9pm daily

  • ACCESSIBILITY: The UniverSoul Circus provides accessible seating, helpful ushers, and accessible parking. Designated parking spaces are provided for guests with ADA placards.