There’s a show called Circo Caballero with a super casual way about entertaining folks who might show up under the impression it is actually in business to perform at certain set times. On the verge of taking bay area public transit out to the dreky BART coliseum station in East Oakland, then a bus across a freeway to this crummy lot that has been graced in recent years by Carson & Barnes (never forgive myself for missing that one) UniverSoul and others — I decided to confirm a 3 p.m. show time for today. The best Circo number I can find connects me to a lady’s home phone in Vegas with a voice greeting; One time a man called right back. Today, I kept calling, and got him again. "Not sure about the three o’clock show," said he, contrary to what he had told me a couple of days ago. "If not enough people show up, they’ll move them to the six o’clock show, so you might be better off planning to see it at six, just in case.."
Sure and thanks. How I would just love to spend a few quality hours in one of Oakland’s charming nether regions. Patio seating, perhaps, behind bars at Church’s Chicken?
I dunno, world of flimsy canvas tents south of the border going and coming, how about posting a notice in the local rag? Or at the very least a notice on Craig’s List under the category "Circuses desperately needing customers unable to afford conventional advertising, now playing on a polluted lot next to a freeway on-ramp near you"
The Caballero web page is a work of mysterious misinformation art — a sprinkling of numbers alluding to absolutely nothing that sparkle like strobe lights across a half-deserted page. Last call for another big top? Hey, ex-quad stars, where here on Earth are you now playing, and when????
Who knows, I might be missing a Big One. That’s the vexing thing about circuses big or small, even ones from Mexico: You just never can predict how wonderful — or blunderful — they might be, whether produced by Feld or Judkins.
I guess the Caballero front end is banking on attracting customers from the thousands of cars racing up and down the freeway overlooking their tent. Now, there’s the answer. My problem is that I still read newspapers but don’t own an auto.
Drats. HAS ANYBODY WHO OWNS A CAR SEEN THIS CIRCUS? Please tell me, is it worth risking the glare of drug dealers, pimps and hookers to get to?
originally posted 6/23/07