Thursday, May 20, 2010
Thurs. Tweets: John Ringling North II Drops One "P" Word for Another ... Big Apple Circus Acts to Abdu Dhabi
Give the man spiffy high marks for flexing his new circus muscles. Senior big top graduate, John Ringling North II, now in his fourth season operating, shepherding, creating, nurturing and, yes, "producing" Kelly-Miller Circus, is now calling himself just that -- a PRODUCER. Okay to be p-precisely exact, the word now put into ink [actually, last year, I belatedly discover after posting this] is "produced," as in, on the front cover of the new program magazine, words that spell out "Owned and produced" by him, p-period. Up 'till 2009, blame it on a legal challenge from the House of Feld to the House of Ringling-North over trademark issues, resulting in Mr. North agreeing not to use the P word at all. They were tossed a p-alternative: "proprietor," which made Kelly-Miller's neophyte proprietor look more like a country vendor of tractors, bale rings, and coffins.
Congrats, producer North! ... I'm not sure whether dueling legal departments compromised, or if on his own daring-do, North decided to. heck, let the world know it is he who is producing Kelly Miller. And evidently feeling p-professional. I think his dad, Henry, would be p-proud as p-punch, cause Henry's son grew up charmed by visions of his one day taking the Ringling reigns. Even his Uncle John in a program made direct references to such a plan in the works. Then came the p-persuasive Irvin Feld, and the rest was history.
Further advancing a new-found confidence, credit all the mud through which he's triumphantly trudged, on the inside cover of this year's program magazine, North the Sequel issues a pugnaciously pithy preamble to producing pride:
"Welcome to America's One Ring Wonder! This Kelly Miller performance is the result of a team effort. After you have seen it, I hope you will agree that we are the A team." ... Go, team, go!
Big Apple Circus testing foreign markets? They're press dept., no, make that the Abu Dhabi Press Office, in a release, making a big to-do about the show's first middle east appearance, to happen at Abdu Dhabi City in the United Arab Emirates this summer in connection with a family festival. Package will feature, according to a general release, "a stellar cast of international stars from Europe and Russia." Don Covington tells me this will not be the stateside show now on tour, but a second unit. Yet to be known: whether it will be a complete show or a sampler of world circus. Why, oh why, does absolutely nothing about this mid- east invasion jump out at me from their website? ... Meanwhile, in BAC land, it feels like they're floating uneasily in transitional limbo, waiting to see what the new man artfully in charge, Guillaume Dufresnoy, will reap. The names Binder and Christensen still stand tall near the top of the masthead, (topped only by exec director Gary Dunning) and they're not being called "Emeritus" anything. The key I think is to watch what happens to Grandma, she recently playing for a Shrine temple ... A house cleaning war in the works??
Big Top Bits: Spain's famed lion trainer, Angel Cristo, dead on May 7 at 65 of a heart attack in Madrid. Married to a showgirl, Cristo's stylish life was the center of gossip. And here comes the voice of another icon, still thankfully with us: "He was a great artist and one of the best tamers across Europe," said Cristina Segura, a Spanish trapeze artist known as Pinito del Oro. "I met him at the circus when he was eight years old. Ángel was hanging around with tigers even then." Gave me a little thrill when Pinito's name appeared! Does anybody have her phone number, twit-link, tweeter-code? I'd love to call her. She was to me the Mystic Goddess of surreal aerial thrillers ... Sarasota's decades-old Sailor Circus, fondly known as "The Greatest Little Show on Earth, strikes its tent for a metal roof, promised to simulate in design billowing canvas. For sure, they are going against the wind ...