Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Mid Week Midway L’Amyx: Baraboo to Bucharest ..

Drop the name “Ringling,” and Baraboo’s man for all seasons, Bob Dewel, is the first in line. The retired Doc, still working his finger magic across the Al Ringling Theatre organ keyboard, is advancing merrily towards his 89th birthday. And he faces a new season of Ringling Theatre tours with gentlemanly exuberance. Notes he, in reply to my touting the great Louise Ringling as First Lady of the Circus, First Lady was served divorce papers by husband Albert ... Another local Ringling expert, Paul Wolter of the Sauk County Historical Society, fleshes out the unpleasant inconvenience it caused both parties: “When Al filed for divorce in 1914, Lou surprised him by getting a lawyer of her own and responding with terms.” The marital tension was negotiated back into the back yard after Albert gave Louise $100,000, about the exact amount it cost Al, the next year, to build his visionary theatre — virtually the first movie palace in the entire country. Oh, those Ringlings, even they could be human, too...

... Very much alive, they want you to know, is Circus Vargas (Craig Peters delivering the cheerful reminder). This in reply to my melodramatic wondering aloud what that summer “break” meant. It was just that — and I hope the so-called “flying Tabares” got all the Krispy Kremes they desire so that, when I see the show, they will actually fly as opposed to posturing in mid air like they did when I saw them last year ... What an impressive Bay Area route CV has booked, their star date to be played where Cirque shows, near the S.F. Ballpark (home of disgraced steroid abusers) ... Vargas does San Jose and Oakland, too, daring to play on the latter’s very iffy mud lot where I refuse to go without armed escort ... Vargas is this year engaging Jon Weiss, a reality TV personality, to host a pre-show bash allowing patrons to try out circus skills. Maybe they’ll be ready for the next Celebrity Circus on NBC, if there is to be one ... BTW, Vargas staffer Yasmine Rivera, answering my query about ladies in power over there, describes VP Katya Quiroga, who handles Sales and Marketing while raising three girls, “a pistol on Heels! ....

Covington Connected: Don forwards news of a Broadway offering called Cirque Dreams (which to me, as well as to many others, sounded like another Montreal export) not being from the Guy Laliberte Collection at all. A court room challenge from Cirque du Soleil claiming trademark infringement went nowhere. Court ruled that the word “cirque”is not owned by any one person or firm. Is too “generic” a term. Well, King Laliberte, at least until you rule the world, Webster's Dictionary is still in public domain, and so, too, will you someday be ...
.
Henry Edgar, a blog’s best friend, liked my euphoria over the discovery of an old musical comedy film, Ziegfeld Girl. “Makes me really want to find this movie and watch it!” And, Henry, if it’s not so hot, your popcorn will be returned by media mail. Well, as said, I joined it 20 or 25 minutes into ... It’s a film that has such great moments that you tend to overlook the other ones ... Speaking of cinema, did 'ya know that Gable once sang and hoofed (he did, it seems) and that Garbo once “laughed.” She did, according to a press agent’s hype in an MGM 1940 sampler tease of upcoming flicks, Wizard of Oz among the treasures ...

About the first international circus festival just held in Bucharest, Romania, in which entire circuses competed against each other, Italian director Raffaele De Ritis shares my enthusiasm. “It really is revolutionary,” says he. “You’re right.” ... I suggested annual awards being meted out in Europe and the U.S. “Lets’ do it!” says Raffaele, proposing an “international commission of true competent circus critics.” Easier imagined than done. Locally, in the USA, surely one of the circus magazines could send out annual surveys to its subscribers seeking participant judges/voters. Circus fans are a very open minded lot, grateful to embrace what circuses are out there, both traditional and new. I say anybody who takes in virtually all the major shows in a given season deserves the right to cast a vote. Base it on an honor system, trusting the voters to be fair and open minded. And let's celebrate the winners: Best Circus of the Year; Best Direction, Aerialist, Animal Act, Clowing, Music, and so on. Hey, you gotta start somewhere.

And what say ye to the idea, good doc Bob? I suggest the U.S. trophies be called the "Johnnys." You, of course, would opt for calling them the "Alberts" — hmm, sounds rather regal, ready for the Albert Hall — or the Al Ringling Theatre. Keep your fingers warmed up for envelope-opening crescendos.

Heck, I’ve been neglecting my tea ... See you next time, somewhere "up the road, luvs," as the late great Billy Barton used to say ...

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Showbiz D...
Ever try booking a show. YOu might want to do that before taking jabs at booking agents choice of lots. There is mostly no choice. I've been a booking agent for years and it is the most stresful,, thankless job under the big top or on a carnival. But...we do it to keep the indsutry alive. As hard as us booking agents work and under the conditions we work, you need to know we are the smokin guns. We keep this industry alive from mud lots to the finest shoppping centers. Try your hand at it before you go pointing fingers at the ones of us who do it

Showbiz David said...

Booking Agent, I'm sorry to have upset you so -- you certainly impressed me in landing the prime S.F. location, as I noted. However, I do not go to a circus with a booking agent mindset, but as a patron who buys a ticket and considers a number of factors. One of them being, I use public transportation, which admitedly is different from driving a car to a nearby lot. I also live in Oakland, which I know a little bit about. I went out to the Oakland location once, to see UniverSoul Circus. As a pedestrian, I'm not going back there again. Anyway, good going on the impressive NorCal dates you lined up!

Wade G. Burck said...

Show Biz,
Were you pointing out the unforgetable Prince Naveze's "persuasion" when you quoted "up the road, luvs?" If not, I believe it was "down the road, luvs." LOL
Wade Burck