[Update, 8/15, 1:53 PST. I reported in error that the Flying Caceres will be appearing with Big Apple Circus. I should have said Cortes.] Flying my way in no particular order, off radar: Big Apple Circus touting its next show, Dream Big! Press release promises more muscle in the air than last year, what with the Flying Cortes, from Columbia, making a return visit and Russian aerialist Anna Volodko also on the bill. Among other fresh features, there's magic and manikin cutups from Holland's Scott Nelson and Muriel Brugman. China is lending their Shandong Acrobats, a large ambitious troupe working ensemble risely. Another Russian contributor is juggler Dimitry Chernov. By golly by giggles, Grandma will be back. And Jenna Robinson is cast as singing ringmistress; I'm sorry I did not get to see more of short-lived ringmaster Kevin Venardos. The operative word, "Big" suggests as much comedy as circus theatrics. I'm looking forward, if only I was a New Yorker. The Big Big Apple Show uncorks in Dulles, VA, on September 22. New artistic director Guillaume Dufresnoy, visibly in command during a Stamford Advocate interview last month, revealed much about his ideas for upcoming shows, about which, more in serious depth later here ...
She may have loved him -- or them -- until her "season" was over: That's the snickering skinny from an inside source recalling how Duane Thorpe, in a near rage, characterized the backyard antics of author Connie Clausen -- "a little first of may...[not a nice word beginning with s]" -- but what a talented [not a nice word] . Connie penned the terrific tome, I Love You Honey, but the Season's Over. According to my source, Clausen, who got cast as a "ballet broad," did not last the season, but whipped up a great deal of nocturnal action as the circus slithered and screamed up and down the rails -- although, whether for personal pleasure or professional gain, details not disclosed. "She had the gall to write about it," quoting my source. Might he/she have simply been jealous of attention that otherwise might have been directed to him/her? Why such ill will? As I recall, this book is absolutely tops, so what "gall" would the writing of it have constituted? Makes me want to re-read; it's now on my make believe reading list (Oakland Library hasn't a copy, drats), just after The Razor's Edge, my current hold.
75 is BIG ... 75 is the age of legendary Tony Steele, first trap wizard to land the then super duper triple-and-a-half, who now lives down in Haines City Florida and is "soaring" again. Profiled recently in the News Chief, Steel's first job was on the Gil Gray Show as a roustabout, but soon he was flying high. In full commercial bloom, Steel flew in Vegas venues for 20 years. He now guest instructs "across America." And what dramatic audience reactions did Steele steal, such a natural born ham was evidently he. Lillian Letizel, you've got competition! (Letizel would sometimes fake fainting spells at the end of her act, complete with dramatic equestrian director rescues and rushed exits) So, here, from Tony, is his baloney: "I would deliberately miss the triple and bounce out of the net," and, then, in came the medics, onto a stretcher was the felled Steel placed, but not for long. Our battered hero would spring back onto his feet, climb high again and "attempt the trick a second time, and it would bring down the house."
Oh, you shameless hams! Somebody should hand this item to Kelly-Miller's Adrian Poema, Jr., who is on my A watch list. That kid's already a seasoned crowd milker ... Back to Tony, now in his 75th year, the still generally fit leaper recently experienced "the most thrilling thing" when participated, successfully, in the passing leap in upstate NY -- without medic intervention. Way to fly, Tony!
75 cents to see the Greatest Show on Earth! That's what a circus ticket cost when P.T. Barnum was born (let's be nice and believe the Felds for a moment), and that's the cost in Pittsburgh when Ringling-Barnum hits Consol Energy Center this Thursday, yes, in the year 2011. Each performance includes 200 seats for only 75 pennies each. Too good to be true? Add an additional "facility fee" of 25-cents. And was ticketmaster around when P.T. was born? Once the lucky 200 are ticketed, the rest can still secure seats for only $10. That to me still sounds grandly generous.
I suddenly have a new idea for ground-breaking showmanship: Why not the return of Tony Steele to the ring, as a gesture of compassionate inclusion, complete with 75 cent tickets for seniors over 75?
Who owns the Kelly Miller tigers? I've confirmed rumors that Casey McCoy is officially off the show, all I had to do was check his blog ... It's conventionally understood that Casey tigers are owned by his wife, she said to have filed for divorce. I said "said." It's also been rumored that John Ringling North II (his name grows in stature by the minute, no?) may be in the process of purchasing the animals. Meanwhile, Radar is presenting them. This kid is a crack photographer. Let's hope he cracks the whip right inside the Big Cage ... BTW: What outstanding coverage the show enjoyed from the Toledo Blade, thanks to an inquisitive young reporter named Zoe Gorman, all of age 20, doing a summer internship, in from New York with tremendous talent. This kid, who traveled with the show for three days, has a future, I do hereby declare. Rare to read anything about the big top in mainstream media so well researched. Gotham, grab her!
Okay, I'm out of the tent. Nobody knows my cell phone number ... because I don't have one (yeah, I'm kidding, kind of)