Clown for a New Day

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

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pretty Pictures for the Holidays ...


Courier & Ives by Monet: From Baraboo with Charm: "Happy Holiday from Al Ringling Theatre Friends"




Out to best Cirque du Soleil? Out to trump The Once Greatest Show on Earth? That tent, under which the horse and acrobatic show, Cavalia, is holding court in Atlanta, is claimed to be the "the world's largest touring big top," its height a staggering 125 feet. Its spread -- 100,000 sq. feet. Came in from Montreal on 115 semi-trucks and a work load of 300 people. Took 'em a month to load up out of Montreal (founded by Cirque spin offs, of which there seem to be thousands), move to Atlanta, and spread their gargantuan canvas. Why not a red and silver train, please, Santa -- in three sections? Please, oh please!

Who on earth is funding this monster? Are they hoping to go broke? Show uncorked on December 7, and unless it gets extended, reports What Now Atlanta (yes, indeed), the big top will vanish from Atlanta's midtown skyline after the last show on January 8.

Cavlia is offering a new show titled Odysseo. I saw an earlier edition, ponderously impressive, several years ago and predicted it had no future. How stupidly I predicted. Or maybe it has funding from Canada, something like that. The audacious magnitude of its physical layout trumps (I did not think such a thing was possible until now) the ill-fated Gene Kelly directed Clownaround, whose set was probably heavier and more complicated than the building itself, the Oakland Coliseum Arena, in which it premiered. After moving to San Francisco's Cow Palace, it went from Clownaround to Clownaground. (Well, I did mange to get Mr. Kelly's autograph.)



Let the sunshine back in, Florida! In land of Great Fallen Irvin Feld Dreams, a much smaller dream is taking shape in Disney World's revamped Fantasyland. This new parcel to be called Storybook Circus neighborhood. They're really, it seems, recycling the Dumbo ride and a few other existing attractions, plus adding, in Disneyspeak, "select experiences."

I'd rather go back to soft dreamy Baraboo ...

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