We're about six weeks from the opening of Cirque du Soleil's new big top production, TOTEM, at the Ohio Expo Center (state fairgrounds).

•We're about six weeks from the opening of Cirque du Soleil's new big top production, TOTEM, at the Ohio Expo Center (state fairgrounds).

A neat sneak preview of the show is that it features performer Nikita Moiseev on the Russian Fly Bar. Young Nikita is, literally, a Cirque lifer, having been born to parents who were Cirque performers during the first North American tour of Algeria. He likes to say he is a Russian born in Manhattan.

The youngest member of his family, Nikita was trained by his father, Sasha, a performer and coach with TOTEM. Nikita made his on-stage

debut at age 8 and joined the cast of TOTEM in 2009.

Check out cirquedusoleil. com/totem for details.

The greater Cirque du Soleil community suffered a tremendous loss late last month as performer Sarah Guyard-Guillot fell to her death during a performance of Ka in Las Vegas when she became disconnected from her safety cable.

Like a performer with the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus told The Beat a couple of months ago, "It's a live show. People do things that are supposed to be impossible. That's what the circus is about."

The Beat sends our best to Guyard-Guillot's family and all the people of Cirque.

•A few weeks back, we interviewed Columbus' own soul-rocker Jared Mahone as he was preparing to open for terrific singer-songwriter Chris Trapper. That show was a solo acoustic show, but most know Mahone for his funky, groovy band gigs.

Hopefully, even more will now, given his band's win in the first Verizon Indie Icon competition, selected from among thousands of independent artists – primarily hip-hop, R&B and gospel – nationwide.

As a finalist, the Jared Mahone Band was flown to Chicago to film a video and perform at Buddy Guy's Legends. As the winner, Mahone and mates secured a spot on New Orleans' Essence Festival earlier this month.

While Mahone and his band deserve most of the credit, the timing – right after hanging with The Beat – shouldn't be overlooked.

•PNC again demonstrates its dedication to the arts with its recently announced sponsorship of the 25th anniversary season of Broadway in Columbus.

"Whether it's their Arts Alive or Grow Up Great programs, PNC is an engaged investor in the Columbus community," said CAPA President and CEO Bill Conner.

The Broadway in Columbus season opens in December with Flashdance: The Musical and includes the local premiere of The Book of Mormon in May 2014.

•Make sure to visit ThisWeekNEWS.com/thebeat for additional fun stuff, including (most recently) a video we shot with author Jane Kelley, the 2013 Thurber House Children's Writer in Residence. Turns out, she takes the "in residence" thing seriously, and we ended up helping out with some chores so we could get the interview done.

You can also catch The Beat video fun weekend mornings on 10TV News.