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UniverSOUL Circus brings diverse culture to the BIG TOP in Baltimore

Deborah Bailey | 6/16/2017, 6 a.m.
If you are ready for a lot of laughter, some mystery, a little history and lots of fun for the ...
UniverSOUL circus started in 1994 in a parking lot in Fulton County, Georgia. Now it is a national phenomenon, and tours in more than 28 cities nationwide. UniverSOUL Circus will be a Security Square mall through Sunday June 18, 2017. Above: Lucky Malatsi, ringmaster for UniverSOUL has been with the Circus for 17 years and is the “entertainer in chief” keeping circus audiences laughing and engaged. Deborah Bailey

— If you are ready for a lot of laughter, some mystery, a little history and lots of fun for the whole family, then you won’t want to miss the UniverSOUL Circus Maryland tour.

The secret sauce that makes UniverSOUL a unique family-centered entertainment setting is its mixture of cultural and historic elements and the interaction between performers and audience, said Cedric Walker, founder and president of UniverSOUL Circus.

Rodney Lindsey and son Stephen, age 6, enjoy UniverSOUL circus experience.

Deborah Bailey

Rodney Lindsey and son Stephen, age 6, enjoy UniverSOUL circus experience.

“The audience is definitely part of the show,” said Walker, who got his start in the entertainment business as a production and stage manager and promoter for groups like the Commodores and The Jackson Five.

Walker continued in the entertainment business through the 1990s underwriting and producing stage plays, but yearned to find a home for a family friendly form of entertainment beyond the venue of the theatre.

Lucky Malatsi, ringmaster for UniverSOUL has been with the Circus for 17 years and is the “entertainer in chief” keeping circus audiences laughing and engaged.

“I love what I do. Just to see the smiles on people’s faces; bringing families together; that’s what’s important,” Malatsi said.

The diversity of the UniverSOUL experience, the interaction with the audience and the multi-generational gatherings that flock to the “Big Tent” make the UniverSOUL experience unique, according to Malatsi.

“Seeing all these different generations of families under the big top having a good time being able to enjoy themselves and agree on being together is the heart of what we do. UniverSOUL Circus - first the name sets it apart. Not only do we have soul but we’re very diverse with acts from all over the world - Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, South Africa, Asia, and the United States of America. You’re not going to just sit back and watch the show, you’re the main element of the show,” he said.

Baltimore resident Rodney Lindsey, and his son Stephen, age 6, enjoyed the diversity of the UniverSOUL experience. “I wanted to bring the kids out to have a good time. I wanted to make sure my kids were a part of UniverSOUL. This circus is more about the culture of black people and urban people. They bring all different kinds of races together,” Lindsey said. “This is something that is good for Baltimore and an experience that can bring everybody together and have fun,” he said.

UniverSOUL circus started in 1994 in a parking lot in Fulton County, Georgia. Now it is a national phenomenon, and tours in more than 28 cities nationwide. UniverSOUL Circus will be in Security Square Mall through Sunday June 18, 2017.