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As we settle into a new millennium, a single question transfixes scholars of carnivalia: What’s the point of the circus other than incubating the pathological clown fear that lies dormant in our nation’s children? The answer: One day, a circus might well come along that includes a midget, a kangaroo, and a set design by a guy who’s orchestrated stage shows for Guns N’ Roses. The UniverSoul Circus—the African-American-owned big-top production celebrating its 10th-anniversary season—includes all of the above and the usual circus stuff, to boot. There are tigers, elephants, aerialists, tumblers, cotton candy, light-up swords, and that smell of sawdust that doesn’t quite mask something unspeakable. But the highlight is a live band that plays everything from Earth, Wind & Fire to Missy: It’s fun for the crowd, for the animals, and for the PETA protesters. The show’s on today at noon, 3:30 p.m., and 6:30 p.m. (see City List for other dates) at Capital Plaza Mall, 6200 Annapolis Road, Landover Hills. $18.50-$45. (202) 432-7328. (Josh Levin)