The Zoppe tent: a temple of simpler times
Okay, and a Dot Dot Dot! ... (put your spell checkers asleep, or you might be beeped to death during what follows) ... To New York, once again, went Cirque du Soleil, wanting still to carve out a permanent Broadway presence, this time at Radio City Music Hall. Earlier it was Banana Shpeel, and, before that, the luckier Wintuk at MSG. Then came to Radio City Zarkana, which opened to mixed, though I’d say encouraging reviews, and which seemed to attract some decent houses (all very fuzzy on this, but it even gets less fuzzier.... ) Only two seasons into a CDS-projected “permanent” summer run, Zarkana, having reached its “finally year,” is being dispatched to Las Vegas, writes Chuck Burnes in Circus Report, there to reopen at the Aria Resort, site of the recently felled Viva Elvis. Wonders Chuck, will Zarkana hold court in the Elvis space or in perhaps another venue in the “huge hotel.”
King Bros. Circus Returns! This, gleefully sent me by Sir Harry Kingston of Texas, reporting that the show is fronted by the not-so-lucky Ned Toth, (seen here, who brought you, ever so briefly, a like-minded effort to revive the Clyde Beatty tittle). Didn’t work, kids. The return of King will uncork at the only date so far listed, Greenwood, MS, in Sept. Wonders Harry, might Johnny Pugh, who “owns” the King title, resist the Toth cloth? Show has its website up and gleaming, casting prime focus onto Toth, nephew of Frank McClosky (which has never struck me as much to talk about). And there he claims to have bought the King title from Jerry Collins back in 1980. If not, and if Pugh pushes court action, perhaps they could call it Kingston Bros. Circus? Plenty of VIP seats set aside for Sir Harry ... "King" marks, to be sure, a great-sounding circus name.
Kudos to Copeland and Combs. Ex Ringling joey Chuck Burnes thinks “it would be great if the Felds hired those great clowns,” seeming to feel that a return to solid sawdust comedy is in order “after too many so-so years and even some years with nothing funny happening at all!” Yeah, about the latter, I can vouch. The two Kelly Miller Circus buffoons joke about being fired every so often by John Ringling North II (actually, a fan of the two), only to crawl back humbly and get rehired. But, still -- I’m going out on a limb here; I can’t imagine them not wanting, big picture talk, to spread their funny wings and test other markets, eventually. Trouble is, there are so few viable markets. Would they really want to share the fallen spotlights with a bunch of hack Shrine amateurs? I’d go back to peanut vending before facing such a dreary future. Out west my way, hint hint, there is Circus Vargas, which I hope to see in the near future.
Inscrutable Chinese Irony: Not coming to San Francisco any time soon. Ringling's Dragons edition will apparently not be parading at the Cow Palace. Show is playing in my town right now, then down to San Jose. The dragon theme seems a natural for pitching to a city thick with Asians. SF has 'em. Feld returned to the Cow Palace for maybe a pair of seasons. Likely the patronage was tepid.
.... Enough. Lovely photo above from the Zoppe Circus website. A family show of modest impact, warn and cuddly, and I’m glad the family carries on.
Wrap this one up in Luv, Billy, and send it to Don Marcks, wherever he is ...
First posted August 11, 2012