Oakland to DC: Strike up the Bella Band!

Oakland to DC:  Strike up the Bella Band!
One of the best scored circuses in America. Scroll down to see the full story.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Big Apple Circus in Bankruptcy ... Cole Bros. Circus in Plans for 2017 Return ... Carson & Barnes Indoors for Winter Dates ...

 Let’s start with Happy, and work our way down to Sad.


Armando Ferrusco, left, his son Armando Ferrusco Jr. , and John Pugh.  Beacon photo by Anthony DeFeo.
Good news on the Cole Bros. Circus front: A peep and a picture from Johnny Pugh in a story out of Deland, in the West Volusia Beacon, that some Flea Market operators in the area may use his winter quarters space, since they need to vacate the lot they currently occupy and flea elsewhere.

Buried in the story is news alluding to a possible return to the road in 2017 of Johnny’s endearing school of circus (Cole Bros Circus of Stars).  Said John to a reporter:  “Election year for a circus is always considered a bad year. I’m glad I took the year off,” he said. “I’m in the middle of right now planning for next year. I have some people that want to come here and join me.”

And how does that make you feel?  I’m floating.   Something to warm our winter months and keep our dreams alive for a season yet to come.

Seems he never sold the land, and, as I recall, the Pugh trucks were all returned to Deland following the near-instant disaster of the King-Cole Circus, another short-lived no-show taken out by the wrong Garden.

Okay, let’s take some comfort, next, in the goings on at Hugo, as in Oklahoma.   I wasn’t to happy to hear from a trusted insider, a while back, about Barbara Byrd e-mailing him, “business is not good at all.”  So, that much more cheered to see that the Byrds are taking out an indoor unit of Carson & Barnes for a few winter dates around the area. 

And what about Kelly-Miller, you may be asking?  I only know that the same trusted insider passed along news that the show, apparently far from buckling under to the no-elephants trend, will have a few Big Ones from Carden being worked by Joe Frisco in 2017. That suggests to me that John Ringling North’s trick is sill on the road.  Pardon my paranoia, but I am still recovering from the dreadful season just past.   So, set 'em up Joe.  I have a little story you  need to know ...

Okay, the bad and depressing, though not exactly unexpected news.  In today’s Wall Street Journal, the headline rushed to me this morning by Anonymous, Big Apple Circus has filed for bankruptcy protection.  I read it myself, only the lead off sentence is accessible on line,  to verify. Thank you, Anonymous A+   And I was hoping for a truncated, more sane and far less costly tour of Paul Binder's show come next season, say starting in the spring at Prospect Park (are you reading me, Paul?) with a very good show, say a smaller band.

This latest does not auger well for an imminent return.  The question, as I see it, is a psychological one: Can Paul Binder, whom I am convinced must be a central part of any revival, settle back into simpler?  Or will he feel more defeat than delight in taking a more well traveled course? 

Know what I think?  Heck, what do I think?  The life of a dreamer is fraught with numerous let downs, but the dreaming may be worth it, right?  Johnny, please, don't let us down!

1 comment:

Harry Kingston said...

Well I hope Pugh comes out in 2017 with Cole Bros as it is just not the same without Cole Bros.
Pugh always had a good bang for the buck and treated us fans the best.
Good luck
cole in 2017.
Carson and Barnes always puts on a super circus in Tulsa and I had a friend see it and he bragged what a great show it was.