On that stat-busting post, "A Little Apple Reception," I took on the generally tepid reviews that covered the new Big Apple Circus opening at Lincoln Center. Since then, I don’t know how the show has been doing, but there’s some good news — two dates on a so-called "national tour," at Alpharetta, GA, and National Harbor, DC, are now being touted with tickets for sale on the show's website. Hardly national, but it's a start!
Now, the subject for today will not wow the mini multitudes who sometimes, by accident or intent, gawk anonymously upon my banner lines, making me feel like one of the tenters out there playing to hundreds rather than thousands. (so now you know). Let me alliterate:
Jomar to Judkins: The Jomar refers to the mobile home that was occupied by John Ringling North II, while traveling with his Kelly Miller Circus. Unwilling to continue on without exotic animals -- and possibly having to subsidize the struggling operation, North threw in the towel and sold Kelly Miller to veteran big top boss, James Judkins. The sale made a big front page interview in Circus Report. This should be interesting.
Jim told Circus Report of how happy he was when John and Shirley North reached out to him “to reinvigorate and reinvent the circus.” Ah, yes, yet another reinvention. I'm not sure he can match the best North II years, but surely he can and must offer the customer a better program than what John II allowed into his ring the last few hapless seasons. Lord knows, there are plenty of top grade circus acts out there no doubt looking for work.
The new Kelly Miller owner speaks of “developing a more precise image for the show,” of exotic animal acts being too costly to foresee including in 2018. Without the exotics, Judkins should find the trouping ahead much easier.
Clowns Steve Copeland and Ryan Combs talking about the changes they are making in an effort to avoid being fatally associated with another aspect of our battered big tops — clown alley in greasepaint — that has fallen out of favor with the issues-driven public. Says Ryan, “It’s an uphill battle when you start out looking like a clown.” You, Ryan, are one smart, articulate cookie Steve notes how the same gags, whether executed behind or without makeup, still draw laughs. I agree, although I might suggest a few facial marks to subtly convey — say, a safe degree of acceptable eccentricity? ...
End Ringers, Covington Connected: Here comes Cirque du Soliel in another corporate contortion, this time joining forces with the NFL to supply sideline acrobatics — or eye candy. Perhaps CDS will give those “taking the knee” a more artfully mystical execution ... The passing of UK circus fan, David Jamieson, who edited King Pole magazine for many years and was involved in many aspects of the circus scene. Such a nice fellow, who reviewed my books fairly. Which means, he gave one of them only a luke warm notice. Funny how David’s face, a photo of which came through in Don's link, is so different from an image I have for years hosted in my fuzzy mind. .... The passing, too, of Pinito Del Oro, the most mesmerizing aerialist I have ever beheld. Something about the way she moved (like a Beetles song) while standing on a free swinging trapeze bar, especially when she drove it in concentric circles. Luckily, I first saw her under the Ringling big top. She seemed to loose herself in a kind of surreal self-hypnosis ...Those are the moments than burn circus magic in your soul forever ...
Last tickle:: When I stepped up to purchase my ticket to the first edition of Jim Judkins Circus Chimera, ready to join ten or twelve other souls to watch the show on one very cold San Francisco night, the fellow on the other side of the glass looked awfully familiar .. who is he? Could it be, Oh, are you ... Yes, I know!
Are we still dancing?
Anybody still there?
Now forming in my posting mind Trapeze in Our Time.