So, too, is Circus Vargas — still on the road, that is. And headed my way. A wining Vargas TV ad looks awesome. Makes me want to go again, and hope again, and rue the dismal setting in which they, the antiseptic circus without even a dog or a cat, so fittingly pitch their top -- on another one of those dying American malls (no tears here, I’m old-school Main Street) in a place called Hayward, CA. So depressing, the tent over asphalt, the tent up against a cold thundering freeway, the tent lost in a concrete canyon, one by one, big name tenants deserting. Macy’s gone.
How good or not so good is Ringling in its new space age colors? Strange they could not pull a major review in Los Angeles, where they uncorked Out Of This World. New York Times sent Brooks Barnes out to cover the prior try-out date in Fresno, and his report offered two views of the space voyage.
THE AUDIENCE: “Judging from the zealous applause ... Feld’s vision has its fans.”
HIS OWN OBSERVATIONS: “Modernization efforts are never easy, especially when the product being updated relies on nostalgia for a great deal of its appeal. Ringling’s customers tend to be parents wanting to pass along a rite from their own childhoods — the smell of the sawdust, the drippy snow cone, the booming voice of the ringmaster. Too much change too fast could upend a form of live entertainment that remains an enormous draw, particularly among working-class families.”
The Little Apple Circus, anyone? Let’s put this theoretically out-of-business show on the Watch List. All they need do is run the bureaucratic bloat off the lot, let go of Lincoln Center — You are NOT a Broadway show, Big Apple -- and put on a dandy enough circus in city parks. Me thinks, if there is to be a future, it is in Paul’s hands. Me thinks, he awaits a Wall Street angel-to-the-rescue.
Shunning its roots, Circus Bella now calls San Francisco its home, and what a groveling and sad sell out to the epicenter of narcissism and greed. A city where circus skills are pitched to the rich with an itch to dabble. A city of pretenders. Welcome to the club, Bella.
Anybody watching the rah-rah Olympics? I got so frustrated with the NBC schedule, which did not match what I actually looked forward to seeing, because of that schedule, that as long as they try making me watch everything, I won’t watch anything. Besides, I am still smarting over the chronic absence of roller sports at the games.
Go, Carson & Barnes!
Big Apple Circus in the beginning