Contrary to blogging rumors elsewhere that John Ringling North II is out of the biz after a year helming Kelly-Miller, the nephew of John Ringling North is actively at work crafting a whole new show for the 2008 season.
For the first time in years, Kelly-Miller will tour a cat act.
In an e-mail to Showbiz David, North writes:
“I am still in the circus business, and, yes, we had a good season. We did have a truck burn up, but no one was hurt. We returned safely to Hugo after closing in Ardmore’
North tells me, “We have 3 new production numbers and a lot of new acts.” He plans to be in Hugo come January to discuss staging details with his manager, Jim Royal.
John Moss, whose services North evidently values, returns as ringmaster and performance director.
In another message, Royal detailed for me winterquarter activities underway. The office trailer is being revamped. A big top sleeper is getting an upgrade. Next season’s seating layout incorporates a hippodrome track, “improved sight lines,” and the ring curbs are being refashioned by North’s daughter, Katherine, herself an interior designer. The planned opening production number, says Royal, "is unlike any in previous K-M editions."
Booking is going well, he notes. “We have good feelings about 2008.”
Check back on this midway for more. My at-large correspondent, Sage, is on a bus headed for Hugo for on-location, in-depth reporting
[photo above: John Ringling North II, from a photo in the 1967 Ringling-Barnum program magazine]