As Cirque du Soleil becomes the Starbucks of the cirque nouveau field its most ubiquitous, mainstream and lucrative name we suggest you check out the underdogs, the Dietrichs and Brasils of the people-putting-their-body-parts-in-weird-positions industry. One way to start: Check out Circus Oz this weekend during their two-day stint at the Grand 1894 Opera House. The Australian group formed in 1977 and has performed for everyone from Queen Elizabeth to Palestinian refugees. Their act consists of the usual (if thats the right word) lineup of musicians, acrobats, contortionists and artsy clowns. However, because Oz doesnt have the financial backing of Cirque du Soleil (neither do the school systems of many U.S. cities), it only has a dozen or so performers doing all the acts (instead of having them master one jaw-dropping move as some have been criticized for doing). They may not offer all of the production values of Montréals big-top billion-dollar baby, but Circus Oz makes up for it with sweat and ingenuity. 7 p.m. today, 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday. 2020 Postoffice Street in Galveston. For tickets and information, call 800-821-1894 or visit www.thegrand.com. $18.50 to $50.
Fri., Nov. 23, 7 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 24, 1 & 7 p.m., 2007
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