Carson and Barnes Circus, in the 1960s

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday Morning In-Box: Big Top Bits in a Whisper


Good Morning, Monday...
Promise to go gentle here, seeing as how some of you may be reading me at work. I remember day-job days, surfing on the sly. I know, you're maybe feeling flat and stale at the foot of another five day climb, another week facing you, and the last thing you need is me in critical mode, so let's take this one gentle step at a time ...

Maestro, if you please, ease the orchestra into a soft refrain and let the flyer float. There's your lead-in photo, aerialist sky high over Baltimore's Cirque de la Symphonie. Soothing enough? ... And let's take a look at Cavalia's surreal tent, under which "horses" prance lyrically about, caressed by loving trainers, all of it carefully calibrated to lend the proper and humane imagery befitting a show directed by one of Cirque du Soleil's many "co-founders," this one Norman Latourelle. Designed and birthed (my word, that) to neuter PETA's claws. Trouble is, if you'll allow me one impolite indiscretion off course, this horse show (oops, equestrian opera -- better?) can become a little too rather regretfully surreal. I'd like to see it trimmed down to a one act banquet. It's still on the road, which marks it an accomplishment, as such enterprises, you no doubt realize, face hardships in repeat markets.


London, come in ... Here's Jack Ryan on the West End line, e-mailing me his sharp pleasure over another modern horse exhibition, one using "life-size equine puppetry which must be seen to be believed." Says Ryan, the National Theatre's "War Horse," is a "remarkable theatrical experience." Slated to appear at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont theatre, whose large thrust stage is ideal, after the recording break revival of South Pacific leaves town in August.

Queries to go: Wonders Sir Harry of Kingston, how to obtain one of those $20.00 Barnes and Noble versions of the Circus: Adam and Eve to Pittsburgh (aka: Circus: 1870s - 1950s). Harry, I'd suggest calling local Barnes and Noble stores. I don't see it on their website. And keep in mind, folks, this is a truncated edition numbering a little over half the pages of the monster original. Up in Santa Rosa, CA, there were a good 20 copies on display. I assume the same applies elsewhere ...

Cirque's Toyota Moment? New York opening of Banana Shpeel's set back yet again, by a month -- into late April; does the Cirque king really want to risk a major flop in a major market so eyed by the world? How to say this gently, better to slip out of sight in Chicago than spill blood on a New York stage. The critics are waiting, and they can be -- critical. On the other hand, maybe this delay indicates that Guy Laliberte sees a salvage job in the works, and thinks he has a 50-50 crack at a populist crowd pleaser. He does have a way of turning tragic to magic. AND, he's just possibly pulled off another Vegas staple with that Elvis Presley thing, getting mixed though promising reviews, I think. But what has that show have? It has the SONGS.

Hugo is Happening: Mid-America Arts Alliance selecting Circus City Museum and Park of Hugo as one of 15 Oklahoma venues for funding assistance. Chirps Hugo happy Marilyn Custer, president of the museum, “We are very pleased to have been chosen for this project.” And up goes another big top museum. What next, the Hugo Philharmonic? Hey, they've got the talent to give it that precious contemporary touch. Risley over Ravel? Hula hoops to Bach? ...

Okay, hope you have a good day wherever you are; hope the free coffee is warm, the donuts are fresh, and the boss isn't looking ...

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