Sunday, January 03, 2010

Sunday Silly: Jumbo -- It's A "Go!" ... Sarasota Plagued by Seedy Greedy Gardens; The "Quad" in Comeback? Shake Hands with a Goat ...

Blogging Backwards ...

Another decade, Another charade: Playing, or I should say plaguing Sarasota to boos and ejecting fists are those shameless scam artists, father and son team of Dick and Niles Garden ... They brought you the infamous Toby Tyler ultra-portable seat thrill ride, they brought me a “circus” so wretchedly awful, that I fled three bankrupt rings midway through the first half of hack hell. Blame Ringling’s eventual exit, conspiracy theory, yes, from the Cow Palace (SF) on that weekend in Gardenferno about 10 seasons ago ... Now their latest appearance: They've been arrested (Niles, that is) in of all places the town that John Ringling built, arrested on a felony charge of “attempting to swindle merchants and vendors.” Multiple Garden variety events were canceled “without notification or for exhibit spaces that may have never been reserved by the merchant.” On and on go the charges.

I’ve heard of these shysters being tossed off premises they tried to work. Niles Garden, the younger, is also, per reports, being sued by the U.S. Postal Dept for failure to pay nearly $150,000 in bills. Incredible! And what a supreme insult to Circus City, that these crooks should even be allowed to set foot there ... Who knows, in a hundred years, they may have their own circle of honor in a town that has never seen a circus character it does not have, well, something good to say about, as long, that is, as said character has the money to fund his or her own bogus star. Poggie O'Brien and "Killer Kane", you're next! Okay, enough of that rant ...

Heck, if you'll pardon my manners, why did I have to start out the new year this way? Cause, shamefully hacky myself, I thought this would bring you into my no-fault tent ... Let’s talk of good guy Johnny Pugh, about whom, even before the poor guy was born, rumors circulated yearly that he was looking to sell his Cole Bros Circus. No to that, Sarasota! Dates are booked, I've heard, and New Cole or Old Cole or In-between Cole will be, I assume, out there again. On live those rare mortals for it and with it ...

Let the quad fly again! ... At last, some signs that legendary flyer Miguel Vazquez’s quad reign through the excellent 80s still inspires a few ambitious trapezer teasers. Comes now a fresh attempt at capturing the quad being ballyhooed on the new Barnum’s Funundrum show I (that’s a Feld Entertainment property) trying out in the land of seedy greedy Gardens. Hollywood actor and TV doc producer Phil Weyland, now at work on a tribute to Miguel, might have an unexpectedly exciting new chapter to include. Credit the Flying Caceres for chasing after quad glory ... Other press-agentable delights attached to Funundrum include a goat who will “shake your hand” (a lobbyist in disguise?) And a wonderfully wacky assortment of menagerie stars, among which, oh does this tickle my wicked pro-circus animals heart: Watusi Bull, African steer with 3 foot horns, and trick horse Diablo ... You who like your circus raw and pure and smelly and a little dangerous, read on ...

Jumbo, it’s a go! ... Good news for our four legged stars. A judge somewhere in DC said enough is enough to this Tim Rider and his one-man anti-circus campaign, paid for by various radical groups who would have blind dogs freed back to the wilds. Rider had the Felds in court alleging they are in violation of the Endangered Species Act ... Now proclaims a triumphant Kenneth Feld, “... a victory for elephants over those who whose radical agenda, if adopted, could lead to the extinction of the species." Well, whatever you do, guy, don't hold back or go cocky on us. You've still got that nasty video to explain for ...

The Felds Forever? If you’re a fan, here’s another Happy New Century toast. If not, well, you can hang your tears out to dry. They’re not going away any time soon. I am hearing that this new dame named Nicole Feld, whatever she may lack, does not lack bluster. And here comes yet another Feld to the feisty fore, Nichole’s junior sis named Alana Feld.

Why was that last slice so thin? No, no, I’m a provisional Feld fan myself, hoping they can equal or top last years Coney-A Ring. Or was it an aberration? Still not at all convinced they will return.

Let’s return to what got you in here: How do your Gardens Suck, Sarasota? I just couldn’t resist that, thank you Dick and Niles, who make Sid Kellner & Sons look like a touring classroom for high-end Phonroomaholics. Did ‘’ya know that Ice Capades might have lived again, thanks to the foundering Gardens of Canada, who had the Capades half way on ice, and moving, until they ran out of money and let everything melt away. Wonder how much they secretly pocked from that one? Some of the bladstars (as in “bladsters”) complained “of being shortchanged.” Niles Garden, arising out of this latest run in with the law, was released from jail on a tidy $15,000 bond. I say, deport those and so and sos back to the land of Guy Laliberte from whence they came, or maybe they could concoct a promo to beef up lagging Vegas biz at the cirque shows ... Out, Damn Weeds!

Down the Covington Shute: Irvin Feld’s Great Dreamland gone awry, Circus World, holding a reunion down in Davenport (no, not Iowa but Florida) ... Ringmasters in the lights: Jonathon Lee Iverson of Ringling, who never should have been let go in the first place because he had all the right interior ingredients for greatness, is back, and I hope this time they will temper (repeat, temper) his hallelujah hall leanings. I’m looking forward to more honed bombast from the man, thinking he could be another Harold Ronk ... Big Apple Circus takes on a Ringling trained (and honed, me hopes) orator, the youngish Kevin Venardos, another possible plus. I’ve never sampled his syntax or arm waves ... I still maintain that tautly talented tongue-twisting tanbark touters (okay, Jack, that was for you) are hard to come by. How I miss even tautly authoritative, authoritatively august Arthur Springer. Yes, I know, too too wordy.

It’s a New Year, I hear. 2010. Two Thousand Ten. Cheers to the quad-smitten flyers, and to a goat who might shake my humbled hand. And, if it’s really good, refill my tea pot. On to your next blog up the mad midway, folks!....

First posted January 3, 2010

6 comments:

Jack Ryan said...

David,

"Tautly talented tongue-twisting tanbark touters" is world class hyperbole! I love it.

Kevin did a fine job the one year I saw him ringmaster a Ringling unit -- the one just before "no rings." Hope he and Big Apple are a good fit.

Word from the just-debuting Gold Unit in Sarasota is that the female General Manager has been summarily sacked and told to get off the lot by nightfall.

Do not know the parties involved -- I don't work there anymore -- but it sounds quite dramatic and sad. From a few emails, I know that some of Gold Unit cast/staff are quite upset.

Film at eleven?

Jack

Wade G. Burck said...

Show Biz,
At times you are brilliant in your writing,analogies, and "saying what need's to be said". A fact that Silver Tongued Devil Ryan must appreciate, as I appreciated the Gunthers and Charlies. If you could just keep your impartiality out, it would be golden. As it is, with the bias, it remains lukewarm.
Wade Burck

Showbiz David said...

Sorry to be so lukewarm, Wade. I must have biases like everybody else, though I feel they are biases in favor of or against certain types of showmanship as opposed to individuals. That being the case, there is not much I can do if I wish to remain human, which I do! But thanks ...

Showbiz David said...

ps. maybe i don't' really know what you are saying. "impartiality" and "bias" are the opposite. is that a HaHa!??!

Wade G. Burck said...

Show Biz,
No, you got it. Opposites. Calling to task one for doing/saying something, and not noting that your favorite's may be as guilty. That's all.
Wade Burck

Maroussia said...

It will be great to watch Cirque Du Soleil - Kooza, i have bought tickets from
http://ticketfront.com/event/Cirque_Du_Soleil_Kooza-tickets looking forward to it.