Out of the mud, at last? ... Kelly Miller Circus moving back its opening to merry March rather than ferocious February, when for seasons it’s opened in Texas, often stuck in muck under lashing wind and rain. Apparently, North II and Royal I have had enough of the stoic trouping through weather’s madness ... On their website, show this year looks to be show last year, minus a few departures including tiger guy Ryan Holder, he slated to work the big Baraboo summer date, along with two other K-M alumni, clown chums Steve Copeland and Ryan Combs. The duo appear to be shucking aside greasepaint for a new comedy act, Nothing but Nonsense. Maybe a good career makeover given how, these days, big top buffoons are equated with x-cons in funny faces on parole or on a rampage
Most memorable is the scene of Miguel at Monte Carlo Circus Festival, having failed several attempts at the quad and finally, now suffering from a bad shoulder, still making one last effort, and making it. His form is as riveting as the feat itself. Never have I seen a flyer’s body compose so perfect and fluid a line – the image borders on the surreal. Among those interviewed helping to tell the story (I was one), Tony Steele, seen above with Miguel and Juan Vazquez, steals the show. Armando Farfan, Jr. cuts a cool and knowing figure. Others like fizzy Jon Weiss add cheer to the toast. Seems a pity that Weyland did not engage a writer, who might have imposed the discipline and restraint which the final cut sorely lacks. Nonetheless, fans may value Phillip Weyland’s adoring contribution to a great chapter in American circus history.