Gymnast Lexi Macht, a soon-to-be sophomore at Zumbrota-Mazeppa High School, will be performing on a Russian swing and doing other acrobatics in the Circus Juventas show “1001 Nights” on July 31 through Aug. 16 in St. Paul.
“1001 Nights is our high-flying interpretation of the Arabian Nights canon, told through the lens of a circus,” said Elizabeth Butler, Circus Juventas co-founder and artistic director. The audience will be able to join Aladdin on a journey to win the love of princess Jasmine, which, of course, involves a lamp, an all-powerful genie, Jafar, Ali Baba and a few other familiar names.
“I get to be a thief and work for the genie,” Lexi said. “It sounds bad, but my character is actually pretty good, and it’s a bunch of tumbling and a little bit of theater all mixed together — I’m having a lot of fun with it.”
Lexi was an audience member before she was a performer.
“My mom’s co-worker went to all of their shows and thought it was cool,” she said. “So I went, and I loved it and then went to try out for a trapeze class. I’d never done any trapeze work but did do gymnastics for 13 years at Kaats gymnastics in Pine Island. I realized trapeze was something I loved and loved performing, so I signed up for a couple more classes.
“I signed up for the circus experience class, an all-around general experience class so you get to go through and do a little bit of everything to decide what you like the best,” she said.
Lexi retired from gymnastics a couple of months ago, after the state meet. Now a performer, students of the performing arts circus school have the opportunity to be in two shows per year.
“There is a spring show that is more for everyone and for beginners, and the summer show is more advanced and you get invited to it by coaches, so there are fewer people involved in the summer show, but there are still a lot of us,” she said. “After this show, I plan to get involved with different classes, so hopefully for the next show I (can) be in a few more acts.”
If you’d like to learn more about Circus Juventas, go to www.circusjuventas.org.
Rapper makes movie ‘Magic’
If you head out to the movies, make sure to keep an eye out for Jas Hardy, aka LaidEe P. The Rochester native, now a rapper, can be seen in two movies now playing, “Magic Mike XXL” and Marvel’s “Ant-Man.”
In “Magic Mike XXL,” she plays Ken’s floor chick No. 3 and in “Ant-Man,” she is billed as “Latina Gangster.”
Hardy left Minnesota last year to pursue her music career in Atlanta. Along the way, she also started her acting career.
I’ve featured Hardy before. The 2006 John Marshall High School graduate won Female Rap Artist of the Year at the 2012 Twin Cities Urban Music Awards and was nominated again in 2013. Lately, the stories on her revolve around her acting career, which has taken off. She has been in tons of movies and TV shows in the past year.
“The first movie I did was ‘Vacation,'” she said. (Remember the Chevy Chase movies? This one is about his son, Rusty, taking HIS family on a vacation, and Hardy pops up in the end of that movie.)
In “Magic Mike XXL,” she got to live out the real-life fantasy of tons of women by getting to dance with Matt Bomer. That was in one of the movie’s final scenes.
In “Ant-Man,” “It’s a really quick scene I’m in for that; they hired me as a featured Latina gangster.”
Hardy just got called to the set of a new project about a week before I spoke with her, but she is being very tight-lipped about that one. The only thing she told me was that this one is going to be a big one. So, I’ll keep you posted when she is allowed to give up the details on the next project.