The show must go on — and it did, as Cirque Italia's ACT XII resumed its performance schedule Saturday night after resolving a problem with its insurance.
The circus, featuring aerialists, high-balancing acts and contortionists performing on an elevated stage surrounded by 35,000 gallons of water, was to have begun Thursday night and run through Dec. 2.
MOSI initially canceled all performances of the circus but later decided to give owner Manuel Rebecchi five days to pay $43,000 for liability and workers' compensation insurance.
Rebecchi fulfilled that requirement Saturday, MOSI officials said, allowing the show to begin at 7:30 p.m.
Rebecchi called the incident "a big misunderstanding."
"I feel so bad," he said Saturday. "We've lost two days, but we are still going to show Tampa Bay a good show.
"I really hope people come out and support Cirque Italia."
The circus will offer a discounted rate of $10 for all seats through this weekend.
Rebecchi, 32, bought Cirque Italia for $1.3 million. A native of Italy, he grew up traveling with his uncle's renowned Noira Orfei's Circus.
About a month ago, Rebecchi and his crew began setting up the blue-and-white big top next to MOSI. The 1,266-seat tent spans more than 10,000 square feet and is more than 50 feet high.
The show schedule is Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 1 and 5 p.m.
Tickets are $10 to $40 and can be purchased at mosi.org, CirqueItalia.com, or by calling (813) 987-6000.