Telling it like it is from Broadway to the Big Tops!
Note: Today marks the 15th anniversary of this blog. And what am I still doing here? So much of what was here then, is gone now. So much of the wrong history has passed by while I watched. The only thing you can do is watch. And maybe dream or wonder. Not the best time for guarded optimism as the tentacles of Corona continue to depress an already decimated big top scene. Never was the future for circuses more up in the air. My biggest hope: That Kenneth Feld will re-start the parade with the sort or spectacle and international talent that only he can afford. And in so doing, help the American circus in its gravest hours of need.
At first, I went out under then name "Stage and Sawdust." Slowly, viewership continued to grow, and then, over the last few years, dwindle as big tops dwindled. Lately, I have been feted with a robust resurgence of traffic. From where? I may be the most anonymously visited big top blog out there. This first post sounds rather pretentious (maybe they all do), and I don't even relish printing it, but it's where I started. And here, now, is where we are, wherever that is. So here it is:
My first posting as Showbiz David, August 24, 2006
From your independent showbiz critic David Lewis Hammarstrom (aka: David H. Lewis), my occasional reports, reminiscences, reviews (and rantings -- maybe) on the ever-changing world of the performing arts. Hey, this might be fun!
You want puff? Sorry, I don't do puff. Want rigged feel-good reviews from press flaks on the take parading as critics? Sorry, you're on the wrong lot. In my book, a hit is a hit and a turkey is a turkey. How can this be? Well, I also pay for my own tickets.
I've been dishing out opinions (and being dissed in return) since the age of 14 when I first got published nationally in The White Tops. From there up a many spangled trail I have traveled, landing articles in The Christian Science Monitor, Australia's The Outdoor Showman, American Skating World, and peaking in the pages of Variety --- when Variety was Variety, edited out of New York.
Some of you may be familiar with my books: Behind the Big Top ... Circus Rings Around Russia ... Big Top Boss: John Ringling North and the Circus ... Roller Skating for Gold ... Broadway Musicals: A Hundred Year History ... Fower Drum Songs: The Story of Two Musicals... And I have a new one in the works on the modern-day American circus scene -- [Fall of the Big Top: The Vanishing American Circus]. More about this in the days to come.
So, how about we meet up sometime soon on the midway? This new website I'm fronting has just arrived on the blogspot lot. They're yet to raise the tents -- still unloading the horses and the red wagons down at the railroad yards by the old ice house. Still waiting for the police to escort them through a band of protestors, some self-chained to the elephant car, shouting, "Reparations for Jumbo!"
You'll bear with me, I trust, as I navigate my way through cyberworld to bring you the essential me in this new and very happening format.
So standby for the Big Show!