The circus ain't what it used to be, or perhaps it's just as disreputable as ever: With recent animal abuse allegations stemming from a video of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey employees striking elephants and tigers excessively, many suggest that this longtime circus production has an act to clean up. Whether wild animals should be held in captivity and forced to perform is certainly debatable; what's not is the talent of the trapeze artists, jugglers, tightrope walkers, acrobats and clowns who tour the country. The big top is open daily through Feb. 13. Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased at the RBC box office or at rbccenter.com.
If you prefer to stick to a human-centered show for your vaudeville fix, next week brings another option: Cirque Mechanics' Boom Town, an acrobatic show set in the Old West, is playing at the Carolina Theatre Tuesday Feb. 15 and Wednesday Feb 16 at 7:30. —Lauren Shute