Clown for a New Day

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

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Morning Midway: These Guys Were Impressed ...

Quite satisfied, thank you, at Ringling's new Funundrum, was klsdad, New Yorker on the town and on the lots, who e-mails a solid yes to the show, "particularly impressed with the use of the LED screens which they used to quite dramatic effect, along with the excellent performances." What left kls wanting was a lackluster menagerie parade into the garden. "Quite disappointing ... 6 elephants and a few horses." Does sound rather like a puppet show compared to long ago, doesn't it ... kls considered OVO, making me laugh describing the charges he faced: "senior mid week ticket prices at $99.50, plus $15 (processing charge, albeit it including the $5 computer generated ticket admission form, AND the $20 round-trip NY Waterways Taxi fee." ... That made it easy for him to default instead to a trip to Ringling at Coney this summer where he can get (are you listening, kls?) a $10 ticket, on sale April 29 (not including on-line ticketing fees if that's the only way to grab one). Just stay away from the concession pits ...

Wowed by an elegant horse show: Jack Hunter, hunting down circuses in his Florida hunting grounds, elated to report about Cavilia, now at the Florida State Fairgrounds. "First class all the way and the tickets aren't cheap." Tent seats 2,000, show has a "long featured act" from Sylvian Zerbini. Capacity or near-to houses, says Jack, since show opened on March 13. Now, with Ms. Zerbini on the bill, I already see a better show than the one I saw in Berkeley a few years ago. My biggest gripe: way too long at 2-1/2 hours, which still applies. Jack's ready for Carson & Barnes at the Brooksville, FL fairgrounds on May 15-16.

Baraboo proud, he is: Doc Bob Dewel on the triumphant lensing at the Al Ringling of Fritz Lang's highly regarded silent flick, Metropolis, scored by 42 musicians, with "percussion on the stage flanking the screen and musicians overflowing the orchestra pit onto the first row." 300 to 400 hundred of Baraboo's residents (town total, 11,000) turning out and rendering a prolonged standing ovation, mighty pleased.

Not so lucky: A sad tragic story of Hamid Shrine Circus elephant, Dumbo, allegedly disoriented and in error hitting its handler, Andrew Anderson, 48, who died from multiple injuries. Anderson reportedly worked with the elephant for several years and even slept in close proximity. One wonders if we are getting the full story.

Hoping to be lucky: Calvin "Casual Cal" Dupree, UniverSoul's original ringmaster and co-founder, out again with his Bumpin' Big Top Circus, ironically appearing at the St. Georges Auditorium in Freeport, Grand Bahama. Some performers were not born to produce, and I wonder if this is not the case for Dupree, such a gifted announcer to apparently be foundering between sporadic self-produced gigs.

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