Performing talent from all over the globe comes together for almost a full month's span of Cirque-a-Palooza, a circus extravaganza hosted and co-produced by Cirque du Soleil comic-act designer Stefan Haves. Standards have been raised since the phrase "Run away and join the circus" was coined; now genius is now required before you can step into the ring -- and these guys are the Einsteins of circus performers. Come let out all your pent-up oohs and aahs for a plethora of magicians, clowns, pantomime, object manipulation, body manipulation -- really, any kind of manipulation -- and much, much more. The festival kicks off Friday and Saturday with "Tricked Out," a modern magic show performed by Justin Willman, whose illusions have landed him gigs on the shows of Ellen DeGeneres and Jay Leno, as well as a performance for the president himself -- in the White House. Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena; Fri.-Sat., July 19-20, 8 p.m.; festival runs through Sun., Aug. 11; $20 & $30 general admission for single event, festival passes $99, VIP festival passes $150. (626) 356-7529, pasadenaplayhouse.org/box-office/special-events/cirque-a-palooza.html.
Fri., July 19, 8 p.m.; Sat., July 20, 8 p.m., 2013