Clown for a New Day

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

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Big Top Bits: Oz Flashes Flesh: Feld Folds Coney Canvas for Brooklyn’s Barclays ... Vargas Lands Prod.Placement in Water for Elephants Tease

If all else fails, Strip! Here comes yet a more "nude, rude and lewd" edition of that robustly risque little indoor trick I can live without, Circus Oz, from Down Under. And I do mean under. Show touting a "dropped" costume budget resulting in rising hemlines. Wonder if their horny little robot dog is still around, hoping and groping, jumping and humping. You can read up on that critter right here on the previous post (a look-back item slotted here by sheer coincidence before this Oz release vamped my way, thanks to cyber courier Don Covington ... Actually, you might have to fly Over There to see the scantly clad half-talented acrobats who make up this in-your-face cabaret of cross-dressers, doped-out S&M-ers and every other what-not under the fading sun. Laughing while she spoke, said director Anni Davey "We've said to the performers they can only have one costume and you can wear as much or as little of it as you like." Oh, they are soooo cutting edge. Might they be a tad desperate for more action at the ticket window? And the tent for this one, called the Blue Show, seats only 250. Yeah, you're correct, nudity sells. Even the great sentimentalist Oscar Hammerstein II once said, "the only thing people are really interested in is sex."

And then there was Cirque Berzerk, down there in Tinseltown, pitching on a website that nearly set my smoke alarm off. This year, offering a "darker, sexier" show. Guess they, too, can't make it on whatever talents they have. Just when I was ready to catch another troupe of modern-thinking sleazoids under a real tent, they have apparently ditched the canvas -- or plastic -- for Club Nokia in downtown Los Angeles. I saw tickets priced over $300. Wonder if that comes with a little Club Nooky on the side? Remember when, once upon a season, women who dared to appear in sawdust rings were lumped together with ladies who lived in shady hotel rooms over brawling bars? Full circle we may have come. Now if you have a problem with my blogging, blame Don up there. (All kidding aside, I have Don of Covington to thank for so many interesting items he sends my way.)

Feld folds Canvas over Coney? That seems the likely story line to be. Big splash about Ringling-Barnum already booked to perform in the new 18,000 seat Barclays Center, now rising over Brooklyn down by Atlantic Yards in Prospect Heights. Performances then "expected to rival similar Ringling" shows seen at the Garden. To be "much more extravagant than the circus's popular one-ring tent show that performed the past two summers" by the boardwalk. Why does that sound like an ignorant insult to me, and why do I already feel deserted by a higher grade of Feld-produced circus entertainment? The best things in life might not last. I'm so worn out by the relentless sledgehammer showmanship of Feld Entertainment, I may skip the Big Show's visit out here next summer. And take in a Dick Garden production instead.

Big Promo Break for Circus Vargas: Call this the Cream of Covington: Video of a Water for Elephants movie trailer now sending promising sparks onto computer screens. In this particular tease (there are others not so on-point or arresting), you see the Vargas front door, wagons and signage. Clearly. Good going, Vargas! An older gent appears (wonder how many summers before I'm him?), in a reminiscent mood, perhaps about to share the story of his life. Says he was with Benzini Bros. Circus in 1931. That's when "the most famous circus disaster of all time" occurred. OK, I'm tentatively hooked on what I saw, just hoping we are not about to witness another circus disaster in the making. Other Water teasers I cruised got stranded off the lot in fancy ballrooms and back of the track hotel rooms, with woozy ballads hardly from the thirties mucking up the must. Oh, let's go somewhere else, it was looking and feeling so authentically good for a while. Woody Allen, that's who, should direct a circus flick, one as rich and good as his masterful flick, Radio Days ...

God Bless the Pope, I suppose: He was recently feted by acrobats from Fratelli Pelligrini, who "took off their shirts." Well aware of certain scandals surrounding this beleaguered church of a thousand illicit confessions, I'd better leave that alone and be on my way ...

Finally, Doc Bob Dewel of Baraboo chirping in to tell me that Circus World Museum's fformidable library now has a new librarian, he being Pete Shrake, a one-time "head mojo" at the Sauk County Historical Society, with a particular fondness for Civil War re-enactments. Let's see, what type of circus wagon came out of that era. Drats! Not the Thimble Theatre fun house.

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