Friday, February 21, 2014

Tenacious Tenters Test Tricky Texas Terrain in Rain ... Circuses Storm the Lone Star State

The show must go on, must be moved every night -- if  you love it, you shove it, you push, you pull, and you fight!*

I've many times observed, impression here, that perhaps the Lone Star state is a wow of a welcome for circuses; Don't know if they'd sing "You're in Big D, my oh yes!" to Cirque du Solei.  They like their sawdust down and basic

No wonder so many shows pitch fresh canvas to start new seasons.  But why do they flirt with early spring mud is beyond me. There is a reason, Kids, why shows once opened in spring, Make that March and no sooner.  They did not, in fact, ever purposely lust after storm and stress.  (Oops! I overlooked Mr. V.).

As listed in the latest Circus Report (I'm a happy re-subscriber), on February 22 (and likely other dates as well), four shows will be down there in Texasland, thrashing around for customers:  Carson & Barnes; Kelly-Miller, Gatti-Charles ( Gatti of California???), Jordan World --- and add to the list a fifth contender in the form of Circo Hermanos Vazuez, which will open in Brownsville, already plied by the circus of North the Sequel.

Waiting for South of the Border hands to appear, no less than Johnny II and sporty spouse Shirley, per reports by -- guess who? -- seen mired in rain-drenched lots, terrific troupers they! Maybe not  singing my verse, but surely enslaved to the Great Passion: 

The tents must be pitched
The sledgehammers swung
Bright banners unfurled
the chandeliers hung ...
we have promised a grand arrival at dawn! *

Some magical musings: Texans who like Steve and Ryan can see them, nearby, in many of the same towns where they watched the guys cut up  in past years. In case you hadn't heart, Copeland & Combs are touring this season with Circo Hermanos Vazquez. 

I'm hoping Circus Report soon reviews the latest from John Ringling North II and the Byrds.

*from the song, "The Show Must Go On," from my and David Baron's musical, Those Ringlings, recently revised once again and now touring the in-boxes of our nation's leading  (and too often most evasive) regional theatres. Maybe this time, I have it right.

Who said the Ageless Delight was dead?  Not any more dead than my Broadway dreams.



Harry Kingston said...

Hi Dave,
It ought to be a real show down in the Texas valley.
I noticed that CB and KM were in the same towns at the same time.
Now CB offers free kids tickets and KM and Vasquez does not.
Gatti does not play the valley.
Also Piccidilly was in Texas as well as Jorden.
Also we had an indoor unit and Lewis and Clark.\
Also Cardin hit a few spots in Texas to get his money.
Also you can bet that the Davenports have a tent unit fleecing the public in the real small towns like the family fun circus.
The Hispanics ought to like Carson and Barnes as they have a complete new circus with added acts.
Tim Frisco, is there with the elephants before he goes back to Cole in March. This act to me is the best elephant act we have today.
I hope Carson and Barnes and Kelly Miller are making money and Cole Bros when it opens in March as I am sure Johnny Pugh will have lots of surprises for us as well.
My heart is with these three tent circuses as this is all we have left today of the real tented circus the way it should be seen under the big top.
Harry in Texas

Showbiz David said...

Incredible! All those shows combing Lone Star lots.

Glad to know C&B has a whole new show. Maybe they will hit the west coast this year.

Douglas McPherson said...

Great verses. So evocative and stirring!

Showbiz David said...

Thanks, Douglas

David Baron and I wrote the song after the Los Angeles production, in connection with rewrites, along with two other new ditties, one being “Thank Mr. Barnum!” P.T. makes a cameo pushing his Great White Elephant stunt, as a ploy – fictional – egged on by a jittery James Bailey to offset the troubling rise of the audacious Ringling boys.

I am going to try to send the script to some stages in the UK. It’s often been said that in many ways the Brits seem to understand us over here better than we do.

Having been belatedly seduced into Downton Abbey (I am now watching all episodes on Netflix from the beginning), I can see the Ringling brothers getting possibly a more realistic treatment in London, as did the brilliantly staged Oklahoma with Hugh Jackson. The two productions we have had here of our musical tend to sugar-coat it.

The show MUST go on!