Thursday, September 11, 2014
"Ringling Magic," At Last, Under Kelly Miller Canvas
I was even more impressed, thinking I might have slightly overreacted when first I saw him on the video, his presence lifting the show truly into Ringling territory, far beyond the normal fare of a pleasant JRN II circus program. He is a fair sensation, somersaulting into the ring (I hadn't noticed that the first time), grabbing the audience's attention with an ingratiating charm full of a sharing energy, and proceeding to dazzle with his routine, ending up atop a ladder on a table, to produce a neat payoff. This is the stuff of Gold.
End of act, during moments when I heard a drum roll, and saw blue canvas, I felt almost as if I were back in De Mille's The Greatest Show on Earth under that gorgeous big top.
When North bought the show back in around 2007, he or Jim Royal issued a statement to a press person about wanting to bring a "little Ringling magic" to the show
Well, this is that magic. Gebre is probably the best act North & Royal have ever signed, the Poema family coming in a solid second. There were some African tumblers, I believe, whom some thought were the high point of the edition, one of the first, in which they appeared.
Perhaps Johnny Come Lately has a way of finding and signing newer talent on the rise, at good terms. A flair for the foreign.
Here, in the charismatic attack of a great performer and entertainer (like Brunn, Gebre's body is in constant motion, too, complimenting his diverse repertoire), North II presents the genuine article.
I could almost hear Merle Evans' men thundering through, "Sing Hallelujah!" ... the ringmaster shouting high and wide ... the Greaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat Sebastian!