Nice little kick off: Something about this photo charms me. It does not look exactly to scale and the banner lines give off a wonderfully crude (should I say simple?) technique. Maybe that's why. It's on display at the Penobscot Marine Museum's Main Street Gallery in Searsport -- wherever that is. Up there in Maine. Called Bex Bros. Circus. Sometimes the distortions and/or simplifications of an amateur's hand can reap superior results.
Bandwagon getting stormed by new subscribers, in the lucky dozens! That's the Circus Historical Society magazine, its articles now digging deep into the nitty gritty of fast money moving or dooming circuses. A neat piece in the current issue turning on the lore spun during a 1921 newspaper interview with Governor John F. Robinson, a sampling of which: "Before he got within two feet of the boy he pulled a pistol and shot his father dead. The performance was finished after that, but it wasn't a lively one." And now, THIS: In 1875, about six years before P.T. teamed up with James A. and crowned themselves the Greatest Show on Earth -- well, hold your convictions! Those four fab words were used on John Robinson's Great World's Exposition. yes they were ... Another item here passing my mind: "Children of all ages" is a term predating John Ringling North or Norman Bel Geddes, the latter in some quarters, I think, said to have originated it. I've seen it in old circus programs, for one, Sells-Floto. So now you know.
Tom Cruise Steals the Show at Big Apple Circus: That's what it appears, from a story in the London Daily Mail by one Sarah Bull (and boy, can she dish it up) about Mr. Cruise, wife and 5-year-old daughter, Suri, she decked out in frills that suggest advanced prepping to walk the streets a few years hence for some yet-to-be sanctioned reality show. Not a peep in this flagrantly shallow, fashion-obsessed yarn about the show itself, all about the daughter's little pink dress, et all. Biggest scoop, this: Suri's Santa wish list totals $130,000. "Even though she has everything she could ever want, Suri asked for diamond earrings and beautiful dresses, like a fairy princess gown." Pardon me for throwing up ...
Grandma's Big Apple Circus Good byes: Talking to Scott Simon on NPR, Bary Lubin talks about his career on Big Apple. This his last season. And why not a grand return to the Ringling banner? That's where Lubin developed the character. Only problem -- would he agree to perform it at every show? Perhaps the Feld of Felds would allow him to bring along his regular understudy. I doubt I've even seen Lubin do Grandma at the last few shows I've seen, none at Lincoln Center and none at night. I'm a Grandma fan, but I think its creatively healthy for both parties to part company ... When I see the show in Queens next spring, I'd like to go up to Grandma, shake her hand and in her ear whisper, "Are you my real Grandma?"
And that's dicey disrespectful rap, kids. Blame it on that index for my book, still fogging up my mind.
Wave "Hello" to Little ZaZa!