Carson and Barnes Circus, in the 1960s

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Ding! Ding! Cho! Cho! I'm Railing Off ...

You’ve no doubt heard of 48-year-young Susan Boyle, Scottish teacher who claims never to have been kissed, but boy can this amateur (if that’s what she really is), sing. She took her voice to the television show Britain's Got Talent. Then the world kissed her. Even Simon You Know Who got all teary-eyed. Judges sure she’d ride all the way to triumph, but, at the finish line, some young upstarts stole away her glory, causing Boyle to Boyle over, all the way into what once was called the nuthouse ... Now she’s out, and maybe regrouping ... Fame that lasts only fifteen minutes can leave burns that linger a lifetime ...

Meanwhile, destined to blast off big time is one Guy Laliberte, he of Cirque du Soleil, said to be Canada’s first space passenger and only the 7th private citizen with a ticket to ride. At only 49, and for a cool $35 million, the 2.5 billionaire will buckle down and rocket up, from Russia to the International Space Station with a proper Cirque theme, in his words "the first social/humanitarian mission in space." How's that? Up there in latitude Laliberte, the daring young impresario wishes to raise public awareness of world wide water issues: "We need to provide access to clean water where it is needed." ... Or might he really be keen on an out-of-body circus? On maybe inking just another contract? ... Acrobats seeking Cirque work, bone up on your gravity-free tricks so you’ll be ready for Montreal moon auditions! ... Oh that was fun ...

What’s going on over in the Big Apple Circus suites? A vet inside source expressing a touch of gleeful apprehension over a “blood bath” red lighting “4 office types” escorted out by security. A pair of butchers debuthered, too. E-mail implications — I’m going easy here — that exec. director Gary Dunning might be just a little overly power pushy. Am I minding my syntax? Already, wonders Mr. Inside Source, is it time to rebinder the book before it breaks apart and the pages loose continuity? Premature melodrama that I, a practicing melodramatist, should know. Okay, so I’m going tabloid on you again. I was reminded of this in the current issue of Bandwagon, by editor Fred Pfening, Jr, who in laying out last season, noted my ominous forecast of possible doom and gloom come 2008, reminding us tactfully that all the shows made it back to the barn “in contrast to the possible dire situation” of, well, yours unruly ... Oh, heck, blame it on 1001 Arabian Nights tea. I feel like a traitor here at L'Amyx drinking something grown in Germany ...

Back into ersatz reality, where were we? Oh, yes, Mr. Laliberte, ever active (how I’d love to pin him to a question or two), announced he intends to carry a poem he co-wrote with a friend and “read it in space.” Are you getting a better handle on the brains behind all the cirque mist down there on earth? ... Those Russians, who will power the cirque king up and away (and we, trust, back this way too) “really put you through some tough tests,” says astronaut Laliberte. “My main concern is to make sure that I am ready and I will not have to be babysat by my crew.” Go, Guy, go! One small bromo for space. One giant promo for CDS.

End ringing it on a graver note, those lovely fabrics (dubbed by retired clown Ken Dodd "the bed sheets") to which today’s aerialists gravitate can be deceptively safe. Yet another performer falling to the ground, and thankfully, she's okay, having suffered "no serious injuries." She, an unnamed 22-year-old performing up in Richmond, BC, for Circus Gatti. Seems I’ve heard of two or three other fabric flyers taking similar descents. Could it be a dangerous immersion in the choreography into which they seem to lose themselves?

Circus Historical Society gearing up for its annual bash in Milwaukee, when Kelly-Miller Circus rolls out the royal mud for a John Ringling North II spread. (There's the talented Casey McCoy. Gotta tell you, though, I get the feeling this is not North II's best opus so far...) CHS calling it a "trifecta," this meaning that you get the parade, the K-M show [*] and, perhaps best of all, a chance to see Mr. North himself address you at one of the CHS events. I hope that notes are taken and published, please, Mr. Fred and Mr. Fred. I'd prefer that over somebody's rhapsody about a long circus train ride. I’ll have to rejoin the Copeland and Combs blogging odyssey in July, just to sneak under and look ... How I'd love to be there. But, I'll be in prep for my own space flight into Sin City. It's high or low time I check out all those Cirque shows, while the owner negotiates first performing rights to the space station ... Besides, the Witness Protection Program rejected me, so I'm staying out of the spangled shadows ...

Oh, yes, the Tonys! -- this very Sunday, here on earth, if anybody cares. Sorry, Jack, I hate all awards shows that go on beyond one hour. Even the Second Coming would have to be 60 minutes max, including commercials ...

And that’s a moon struck wrap ...

[*Update: At Milwaukee, you will not see the touring K-M show, but a special one hour "Kelly Miller Festival Circus."]

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