My brother Dick, never a big circus fan, has rarely checked out the scene in many years. We never saw a show together, and I never sent him any of my books. He called me up a while back with circus on his mind, surprisingly not musical theatre, which is what we can spend hours talking about (he reads my books on that subject with avid interest). "I saw a circus in Salt Lake a few weeks ago," he announced. "It was awful!!" Immediately, I was impressed on two colossal counts: (1) that he could be so critical of a circus; and (2) that he had not called to talk about musicals. So let's tread this thread to the scoundrel responsible for turning my brother further away from the big tops.
Dick (I should say "Richard," which he now prefers) is not one to issue such acute dissatisfaction. He could not remember the name of the circus which turned him off so, but by our discussing some of its details, the names of two odiously nefarious so-called "circus owners" buzzed into my sphere of existence like a pair of uninvited mosquitoes invading my cozy little one bedroom rental in lovely metropolitan Oakland. You of the tent-crashing class may already have prime suspects in mind.
After the shocking call (I'm just kidding) -- I can't recall our discussing circus in several years or more -- I googled "Salt Lake" and "circus" and entered the exact date of the offense against circus art committed in public . This popped up: Piccadilly Circus. Hardly ever heard of that one. Tracked it down to a certain Canadian hack promoter not exactly loved in the states, scandalously known for foisting deplorably sub-par garden variety exploitainment onto the public and raking in tons of fast money. I thanked my brother, impressed that he was able to call a spade a spade.
... Better get a move on here, or make that a movie on: We endure so many mediocre to lousy circus films; will we ever get a great one? I think I stumbled into the worst circus flick ever made the other night, so awful I fast forwarded through much of it (Is Dick Garden, per chance, a movie producer too?) It's called Circus World. Avoid it at all cost. John Wayne acts as if he had just been thrown the script and is practicing line memorization. Only in scenes with Rita Hayworth does he shows sign of life ... Redemption arrives late in the ordeal when a clown turns in a very funny bit, working plates he is challenged not to break. A perfect pleasure ... Overal Score: Minus four stars. Go get yourself some fresh hot popcorn in the lobby, gaze upon the coming attractions, hope for a better flick soon, and, while you're at it, please throw up for me ... Circus at the movies to be continued.