If you go
What: Cirque du Soleil: Dralion
7:30 p.m. today, 7:30 p.m. Friday, 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday
Where: Civic Center
Cost: $30 to $140
Info: www.ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000
Patrick Kelly took the sensible approach to running away and joining the circus - he waited until his children were grown.
In 2008, Kelly tried out for Cirque du Soleil, landing a gig as a guitarist for the show's band. His first job was with a production in Japan; he joined the current tour of Cirque du Soleil's Dralion show in June.
Dralion's theme is an East-meets-West one and the name is a blend of the words dragon and lion. As with all Cirque shows, it blends acrobatics with theater, using colorful costumes, dramatic lighting - and live music.
"I was very lucky," the native of Quebec, Canada, said of his timing to try out for Cirque. "It was a moment when they were doing three new shows. And they offered me a job to play in Tokyo."
Now a world traveler, Kelly says he loves it. This week, the show stopped in Charleston, where it has seven shows scheduled at the Charleston Civic Center through Sunday.
"It's fun to change places and be in a new hotel room, to discover another town," Kelly said. Each stop offers opportunity to explore.
"When we arrive, the technical team has to unload and install in the arena. While they are doing that, the performers have two days off, most of the time a Monday and Tuesday," he explained. The company gives everyone a list of amenities and places of interest.