Randomly served, if you will ...
Count 'em -- not ONE but TWO Grandma clown clones: Mark Gindick, right, at the Big Apple Circus, Circa 2010, and Matthew Pauli.
Grandma lurks in other rings, yes she does -- in this instance, Mark Gindck handling the role originated by elsewhere occupied Barry Lubin, who, as you know, "retired" from Big Apple Circus last season. Grandma recently seen by Dan McGinnis, Sr., reviewing Big E Super Circus for Circus Report. Not sure about Gindick, but I've seen (best guess) the work of Matthew Pauli, who turns in a dandy grandma. And I'm told there were others! I guess the character is licensed by Lubin, and does that not mark a first in world circus history? Here we have a specific character being cloned on down the line. (There have, believe it or not, been others.) Sure, you could say that Emmett Kelly had spin-off imitators. I wonder what would happen if a non-licenesed funster decided to appropriate Grandma? ... With any luck, we will eventually see ...
Are you still with me? ... Bill Taggart back at work on his Bandwagon series about touring with Ringling-Barnum during their last years under canvas, selling tickets -- when, the Big Show, if we are to believe Bill, did not operate as etthically as for years it claimed to. Bill was taken aside and told how to short change the public at the ticket window. Bandwagon shows grit in opposing the legendary (myth?) of Ringling's dogged honesty in dealing with the public. I still stubbornly subscribe to that claim (or myth), and there is plenty of evidence that John and Hnery Ringling North, up to the fall of the big top, were trying to weed out corruption against the public. But we await what Billy Boy has to say on the matter. His previous account is persuasive; Art Concello was no longer around, but some will call me incredibly naive for believing that Art would have operated any differently.
Zhang Fan. Big Apple Circus photo.
Big Apple Circus opens today in Gotham. DC date seems not to have been reviewed. Hold on! I'm going to right now goggle up reviews, and here will be my tally: NONE (that I can find, other than suspect bloggers on the shill, some pitching tickets). But website photos, setpiece and a jolly looking ringmaster all look terrific ... Early buzz might be that show favores the kiddies, but did it not do the same last year, and did not artistic director Guillaume Dufresnoy go on record as wishing they could attrack more adults, such as circuses in Europe do? What goes here? Lineup, however, above all such quibbles, looks boffo.... Inside sources discretely convey to me that show is still struggling to stay financially afloat.
But the photos look fabulous. On this promising note, let's cut and run ... Let this one go out rough, photos due in on the Second Section.