Sealing a Kiss with Princess Stephanie for a Gold Clown?

Sealing a Kiss with Princess Stephanie for a Gold Clown?
at the 41st Monte Carlo International Circus Festival in January

Friday, May 15, 2015

Big Top Bashing in High Season: Right Wing Blasts “Wimpy” Ringling for Elephant Fold; Bloomberg Blasts Cirque for China Infatuation; Mother Nature Bashes Carson & Barnes into Its Finest Hour ...


They have a big heart in a storm, the folks at Carson and Barnes.  Back a week or so ago, down in the Longhorn state, windy rain came lashing down on the tent, the show in motion before a hefty good crowd, a gal on a trapeze working her act, coolly unphased by Mother Nature’s stormy knock at the door.  Eerie to see!  Made the evening news.

Everybody told, it will be okay! The show will go on! -- until they were told, please, leave the tent peacefully!  So close to collapse as everybody got out, some screaming as they ran, before the tent could fall.  But it didn't fall.  A close call, lots of happy C&B fans, nonetheless,  feeling well treated.  The next day in a new town, returning customers were offered upgrades on their tickets for a dry show.  Also given free "CB bucks," to spend as they pleased, by none other than the Byrd of Byrds herself, Lady Barbara of Hugo, daughter of the late great Dory.  And how like a Brit Masterpiece Theatre family does that sound?

Super C&B fan Audrey Wallace, one of the returnees, being handed the mike by the ringmaster to thank C&B people for their “professionalism" and for getting everyone out of the tent safely the night before.  And then, a big hug from the ringmaster.  A touching moment.  You gotta respect these hard working troupers of our tent shows, facing capricious elements day in and out, specially in these weird and wacky weather times.  

Did I get that right?  Looking at sketchy notes, a lazy draft, okay.  Watching coverage on TV, I marveled at how they kept the show going until they hastily emptied the tent, ever so close to breaking stakes and falling.  High drama!  ... On the plus side, two things I happily noticed in the coverage:  1.  The newer ringmaster, a young Hispanic fellow, gives off a warm polite air, so much more human compared to the previous bombast.  2.  A good crowd in the seats, winning!  The tent layout inside looked spaciously terrific. Looks like a true New Day for Carson and Barnes.

"Greatest Pushover on Earth" Here's the Right Wing mouthing off in haste -- anything to bash the Other Wing, blasting Kenneth Feld & Company for his "cave in" to the animal rights crowd.  Sean and Rush, et all, blaming Feld for the exit of the elephants to be.  Okay, so how would they manage the show given diminishing crowds? It's a business, stupids!  And you on the right should respect the "free market." From the New York post, mad as hell Steve Cuozzo, predicting  that "the bozos at circus parent Feld Entertainment" will make the circus "extinct before the elephants."


End of the Greatest Show on Earth!  Good grief, I've not heard such dire blather since the Big Show gave up it's big top in Pittsburgh, PA, 1956 ...  Cuozzo was so upset that he lashed out at Feld showmanship:  “Who wants two hours of expensive 'family' tedium full of unfunny clowns and aerial acts that can end in catastrophe, like the human chandelier that sent nine acrobats to the hospital last year?"  Hey, Steve, while you're at it, and what did you think of the designer snow cones?

The Feld cave in, predicts Cuozzo, echoing his colleagues on the right, “will only embolden zealots to agitate for eliminating of all circus animals.”  And, know what?  He could be right.  Or more likely wrong.  I mean, do you really see horse and dog acts getting the boot?  Just stay clear of Frisco.  S.F. pols already wanting to ban all "wild" animal acts.  What next, fleas?  (Is anybody laughing? I am.)
                                                       
Bloomberg Bashes the Montreal Monster in a story titled "Why Cirque du Soleil Has No Chance in China."  And a good many reasons given to guy-out their thesis, among them, oh how obvious, many of the greatest acts are already in China.  In previous Cirque shows, those same acts, and others, fell flat when CDS first courted Chinese audiences back in around 2007. 'Twas not a heavenly takeover.

So, what next, Cirque?  Oh, that's right, a return to the Great White Way that rebuffed you when you slipped on your banana shpeel.  But this time, it just might work ... Cirque's Theatrical Division said to be mounting a Broadway-bound revival of The Wiz, first to be aired for the next NBC Live, this December 3.  Hmmmm.  With a proven script to work with, along with circus acts thrown into the mix (think Pippin), they might get it right this time.  Then, a Mandarin version for China?

END RINGERS:  Twas in Circus Report that I read about Cirque's Broadway bound The Wiz; that I read about the day after the storm at Carson & Barnes.  And that, also, once again Chuck Burns tried luring me into his kinky side show.  This time, he's talking about the famed 1932, flick, The Freaks. Available on Netflix.  My thumbs are up. Think I saw one of the characters in a sideshow on the old Foley & Burk midway ... Let's close this one out with a cracking good cartoon, also from CR, called That's Show Biz, by Billy Earl. Frame to frame, it goes like this. "How does your truck get such great mileage? .... That's easy! .... Most of the time they have to tow it."  I did laugh.  And it made me think of Steve Copeland's clown car --- no, not the one in the show. The other one.  More, please, from the Duke of Earl!

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