Clown for a New Day

Clown for a New Day
Dagwood might make it in today's emasculated circus

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Little Big Top Bits: Bello Back to Big Apple ... Wandering Tortoise Berta Back to Zerbini .... A Boon to Boom A Ring!

He's a super cool-looking guy, who kinda still looks young and kinda looks funny and kinda entertains in his own quirky way. I Hear the kids are high on him. Maybe that's circus today. Anyway, Bello Nock, who ran away from the Big Apple Circus in 2000 to join Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, is running back to rejoin New York's treasure tent. Bello is promising "high falls, bungee-ing and trampolining." ...

Circus Vargas offering a fine and well illustrated "40th Anniversary edition" program magazine, and for the not outrageous price of $7 ... Not quite accurate, Guys and Gals. Cliff Vargas switched over from Miller-Johnson to Circus Vargas in 1974. Anyway, I'm not sure he would be very thrilled with the current edition -- one of those skimpy programs containing both class and crass in the same ignoble package ...

Another horse show biting the dust, down in Dallas. You knew it by the name Artania. And a "cold war" brewing between a Houston promoter, the city of Dallas and a landowner over the still standing though very abandoned tent. Beer bottles and other leftovers strewn about inside. "It's just an ugly tent," says says Joann Crenshaw, a customer of Fuel City, on whose parking lot the show rose and fell for the last time. Local officials unhappy, giving property owner 30 days to strike the stricken canvas ...

At least a tortoise has a tent to return to: Zerbini Family Circus's 114-pound Berta, who quit the show in mid-July for independent gigs around Madison, Wisconsin, got about two miles up the road where, appearing on a golf course, he was spotted. Berta, "part of the family for 10 years," according to Alain Zerbini, is back in his own backyard ...

Boom Boom Boom A Ring, My Love: Nice to see a legit critic agreeing with my high regards for Kenneth Feld's perfectly refreshing circus gem, now parked at Coney Island, but with few reviews to show for it. From TheatreMania's Ellis Nassour: "It's Ringling's first tent show in 50 years and it ranks as one of their best ever, in large part due to the direction of Broadway veteran Philip Wm. McKinley (best known for The Boy from Oz)." Please stay the retro-revolutionary course, Mr. McKinely, and get Mr. Feld to let you do more of the magical same ...

Cirque du Soleil's hosting venue in Hollywood, the Kodak Theatre, is getting a $30 million loan in federal money from the Los Angeles City Council, for retrofitting. CDS expected to pull profitable crowds for a decade. Let's hope the world is still around ...

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