Thursday, June 23, 2011

The House of Ringling Beckons --- From Northbrook Ireland, From the Lanes of Talburt ...

From John Ringling North II, now in his fifth season as owner-producer of Kelly Miller Circus, which makes him a graduate student in big top survival, comes the lovely program magazine for the current tour. John personally sent it to me by old fashioned mail from his cow digs in Ireland. By subtle degrees, we may be watching the rebirth of the House of Ringling matriculate.

The North of Norths has opened the tent wide up and let the sun fly in. This edition, as you can see, is bathed in light blue hues (charms more in person), graced with shapes of yellow and some fine photography by Mr. Radar (Ryan Easley). Fine design marks go to Jaklyn Groom,whom I take it arranged the attractively graceful layout.

Circus programs were a threatened species for a season or three. Carson & Barnes still does not carry one. Cole Bros. has reinstated its; Circus Vargas sold a pricey issue at the Hollywood lot. By that measure alone, are we to intelligently conclude that circuses are doing better these distressed days? Hope so.

Now, Mr. John the Sequel is a seemingly cool, laid back dude, sort of the kind of guy I pictured when a number of years ago he let me interview him by transatlantic telephone hookup about his famed Uncle, JRN I -- the two are diametrical opposites.

I've been clued in on the exact dates (am I boasting?) of John's next tour of pleasure with his circus, due to commence in summer, complete with invitation to crack concessions over, I guess, laughs. "We could share a bag of Peterson Peanuts," offered he in his handwritten missive. The House of Ringling remains passive aggressively PC-averse. I can't imagine King Otto tolerating such technological indifference.

More on Kelly-Miller: From Lane Talburt, who spent many years in TV news, at newspaper desks and in public relations, comes a link worth the link -- to a recent interview he did with the show's infinitely likable young clowns Steve Copeland and Ryan Combs. A breezy pair these two laugh makers are. Talked a lot about day-to-day hauls from one lot to the next. My only surprise was the assertion of, I think Ryan, that their routines are set and do not change. Come on, guys! You tell us all the time about revising and tinkering, trying this and trying that, no? Anyway, they strike me as a PR asset for the circus. Referencing Steve's troubled truck history, a wryly humorous Talbert opined, "Maybe they could host a cable channel show on vehicle repair" VERY funny!

So good was the impression left on my eyes and ears by Talbert's seasoned professionalism, allowing his subjects ample time to participate, that I gave his visit to the Alain Zerbini Family Circus a look. Finally, that show has a face to me.

Here's a link to the Copeland-Ryan interview. From there, you'll find other interviews.


Maybe roving report Lane can get JRN II to talk. If he resists, Lane, I'd suggest you take issue with his Peterson peanut pitch. You just might get invited in to break nuts together. And talk clown truck repair.

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