John Kennedy Kane: A ringmaster for all season?
Ernest Albrecht, reviewing in the current issue of Spectacle Magazine, waxes lyrical over the new offering from Gotham's treasured big top, this one callled Legendarium. New edition, now at Lincoln Center under the tent, reminded him of why we fall in love with the circus. Perhaps that should read past tense; why we fell in love with the circus; bit by bit, it seems to be shriveling away. Quoting his kick off paragraph:
"The Big Apple Circus has at last come up with a show that has charm and a personality that makes it all but irresistible. Thanks for much of that must go to the young director West Taylor who comes to the show with Broadway credits, choreographer Matt Williams whose work we have admired for several seasons past with Circus Smirkus, the renowned Broadway set designer John Lee Beatty and the costumes of Mirena Rada who returns to the Big Apple with Broadway credits of her own. But it is not just the Broadway theater element that has turned this outing titled Legendarium into such a delight. For that enormous credit must be pinned on John Kennedy Kane who serves as both our guide through circus history and the show’s ringmaster"
This only adds to a chorus of high favor, meted out by opening night NY critics, cheering the acts, the clear uncluttered production reach, and the music. We are talking familiar tunes, not an original score. How wonderful novel. When can you recall a circus band playing a standard song, popular or classical, that you knew and loved? How I wish I'd be seeing this show, but I won't.
Enter, at last, a charming ringmaster? Says Albrecht of Kane, no stranger to a sawdust ring ... "In him the Big Apple Circus may very well have found the replacement for its previous icon Grandma the clown."
Good news, if true, for BAC die hard Grandma fans, for I think in Grandma what they loved was the character more than the clown. Grandma's warm wonderful presence.
Memorable acts of high merit, according to Albrecht, roll on, one after another. "This is a very big and powerful show packed with one wonderfully entertaining and gasp-inducing act after another. "
Drats, why will in be in Gotham at the wrong time!!!!
Let's leave it there, other than to note that Albrecht is not happy with the "actual" clowns; I've noted that they draw wildly mixed reactions, some critics finding acute amusement, others not.
Personally, I am happy to learn of a ringmaster getting so much what seems genuine praise. I am so worn out subjected to the blowhards under too many of our tents who pass for tent show orators, that last year, yes, call me a snob if you wish, I purposely did not watch Ringling's Dragons because I needed to take a year off from Mr. Iverson. In the beginning, I thought Mr. Iverson was terrific, and so wrote. In the beginning, Mr. Iverson was subtly restrained. Each year, more of Mr. Iverson's inner revival blast takes over. So far, well at least he hasn't passed the plate. And yes, when he gets really carried away, he himself can be a blast. I don't know why our American ringmasters carry on as if, only because they tell us so, what we are seeing is great, and that we will believe them, like programmed robots. Please, somebody shut me down, my battery is low.
Oops. I have a movie to watch tonight. Fatal Attraction. Back at you tomorrow or the next day, with the
other part about L.A. wanting to ban the bulls.