Clown for a New Day

Clown for a New Day
Dagwood might make it in today's emasculated circus

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Revived Cole Bros Circus Hits Road with "Last Chance" to See Elephants; Also with Camels and Horses, Flyers -- and Tumbling Finalists from America's Got Talent


UPDATE UPDATE, 5/21, am, PST:  Ho, Ho, Ha, Ha! Yes, I'm becoming addicted to this strange stumble out of the barn.  Try connecting to Cole Central via the telephone number on their website.  You will be quickly transferred through to Ma Bell suggesting you hang up and ... yes, you know the drill! 

UPDATE, 4:36 pm PSTI have learned that Branchwater Productions, which appears on the website as the operator, would probably be John and Brigitte Pugh, for they live on a street named Branchwater Bend in Deland.  A search for Brancwater brings up a tape-distribution company n Sarasota.  The currently observable fact that "Big Top Circus" has not replaced the Cole Bros. title suggests, and I stress suggests, that Johnny is still somewhat if not completely in charge.

Yes, this  has become a rather amusing guessing game that just keeps on guessing!  So beware, my  speculations below may prove to be just that.  I am close to placing a moratorium on  myself for coverage of the Cole Bros. saga for a certain period of time.

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In some ways, fresh new compelling poster art seizes on the elephant act issue by promising patrons a "last chance" to see them.

Early dates look to follow traditional routing -- only, says Agent X, who raced me the news,  "just uncharacteristically late in the season!" --

It will likely stir some increased business from those wishing to have that chance, especially with kids in tow going to their first circus.  And, even more so, by the presence of the Chicago Boyz, a familiar act off  the popular television show, seen by millions.  Shrewd marketing, I'd say. 

How will it stir the dissidents?

Yet to be seen. True blue activists cheered the earlier news that Cole would NOT be going out with any wild animal acts.  Will they play nice and let circus lovers have one last season with a complete traditional big top?  Or make life even more difficult for the troupe?

Hard core protesters will claim a promise made not kept.  And, technically, they will be correct.

And so, they may intensify their harassment out of a paranoia that this circus -- especially when they get wind of the sale -- has no intention of retiring its performing pachyderms.

Considering that Dick Garden, when last I heard, was in charge, it could be a suicidal season in more ways than one. But I do think, in poster art, he's off to a blazing good start.

And, yes, you heard it from me.

4 comments:

Harry Kingston said...

Hi David,
First, I hope as a circus fan that Cole Bros makes it down the circus trail and makes money.
I saw the new Cole route a few days ago and it is the I-95 route that they have played for many years and the locals know the name.
But it proved to be a disaster last year with poor business and the show coming home in the hole big time.
Now if it were me I would try new territory as there is money out there to get if it is done right and you know they are in town.
Cliff Vargas, made big $$$$$$ and tickets all over the area and posters in many windows in malls etc.
I visited Carson and Barnes and they are doing good and many full houses.
Also here Garden Bros is doing great as well.
Dick Garden is a smart person when it comes to his circus.
I spent 2 years visiting as the circus wintered here in town. Had the run of the lot and all treated me super.
Dick's shows here were top notch with Ian Garden Sr. with horses, Pat white with the large Cuneo cat act and well done, Piere with the Zerbini elephants, etc.
The circus today has to keep up with the times or if they do not it is gone with the wind.
I cannot wait to see Cole back to 3 ring under the big top.
Johnny Pugh, knows every aspect of the circus and is with it and for it.
Time will tell and heck it might be a new era in the tented circus or it could be the end of a era and hope that it is not and keeps on a going on.
I told Johnny Pugh many years ago it would take me 20 years to top saying Clyde Beatty Cole Bros Circus.
Wish them the best and hope it works out for them.
Harry in Texas

Showbiz David said...

Well, Harry ...
If the show did as bad last year as you say, what I would do is follow through with the earlier pledge not to tour with animal (or wild animal) acts. They seem to be courting more of the same???? And I'm feeling lost in a repeating loop of what feels like silly speculation. I'm outta here!

Anonymous said...

The "pledge" not to tour with animals was a project before there was a solid investor involved.

Dick garden became that investor after the previous two dropped out. And under his control deiced to fill the show with animal acts.

John Pugh will tour on the road and manage the show. Branchwater productions is simply his business name.

Dick Garden will not tour full time with the show.

Harry Kingston said...

David,
We will see before long how it goes on Cole Bros with the duel partnership.
I met Dick Garden and his son here in Beaumont and Dick knows how to make money.
I was treated wonderful for 2 years as the circus wintered here and all were great.
The concession lady manager was going to throw many cases of old programs away and Dick told her to give them to Harry and I got them and passed them on free to many a fan.
I already have had two reports from fans in Michigan and Kansas that saw Garden Bros and Zack gave them the run of the circus and all others with it were the best to these fans.
They both had many a great talk to the show folks.
Lets hope this will be a new era for Cole Bros and I cannot wait to see a real tented 3 ring circus back on the road today with animals.
I wish them the best.
Harry in Texas