Clown for a New Day

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

Friday, July 06, 2007

Mid-Season Musings: The Tents Tremble, My Paranoia Rises ...

From the fist year posting ...

Lay ‘em out, get ‘em in the air and pray they stand ... So far, new Clyde Beatty Circus gone in weeks ... Chimera shuttered July 2 ... How many more to heaven in ‘07? ... I keep checking the Circus Vargas website, and still a Long Beach date hinted at by the show’s evasive pr dept. does not appear... Another e-mail from yours skeptical to Vargas vague. And in return, "We will be going to Long Beach."

Pardon my paranoia, but I entered this crazy biz during another iffy period fraught with turmoil, oh, back around ‘55, only a few trembling weeks after the Big One stood abandoned on a St. Paul lot, the work force having walked off before the night show began in the wake of mass management firings. A feisty Noyelles Burkhart charged onto the scene, had the respect to rally the roustabouts, and got the show back onto the train. Thank you, Mr. Burkhart, for playing God that ominous night. I got to see the Greatest Show on Earth and all of its fifty five elephants perform in Richmond, California under majestic blue canvas ...

The next year, Pittsburgh happened. Killer seasons come and go.‘38 was another midway-crusher, six of the eight tenters that fell, gone forever. Pickle Family Circus founder Larry Pisoni has his own Pittsburgh years later, and the erratically experimental Cliff Vargas, had he lived long enough, might have, too ...

Present tense perplexities: Nice to see on Pat Cashin’s blog a photo of John Ringling North II paying a June visit to his own new toy — Kelly Miller, somewhere en route; was there ever a show more secretive about its play dates? Let’s hope North found greenbacks in the kitty, not IOUs. Once, I was Jim Royally favored when I e-mailed for updates. Now I am royally ignored. Still, I offer you what Royal offered me a few months back, his actual lineup:

Exploding applause meter with Raul "Tony" Oliveres; Charivari; Sun Acrobatic Troupe on the Chinese poles; Jennifer Walker’s Dog & Pony Revue; Rosales Family on perch poles; Sun Acrobatics on Diving Bungee; Laura Herriott's Animal Carousel; Tony's Toy Box to Life; Wan Hong hat juggling; Carmen Portugal, single trap. INTERMISSION. Chinese Lion Dance; Rosales Wheel of Destiny; Tony's potato head; Contortionist Sai Zhang; Jennifer Nichole on cloud swing with four North Starlets; Juggler Brett Michael; Murray Family elephants; Hoop diving by the Sun Acrobatic Troupe; Finale ... On paper, looks breezily balanced ...

Train pulling out! Consider this shortie a water stop on a red hot summer day. By the way, I skipped the Caballero canvas out there in lovely east Oakland by the freeway named Nimitz. Not worth trekking through a maze of urban riff raff to a tent that might or might not open for biz at 3 p.m. How like today's state of the little tops ... At least, for now, this I know: "We will be going to Long Beach."

And that’s a Vargas wrap.

First posted July 6, 2007

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