Going Nuclear at Garden Bros. Circus Can Be Crazy Fun, Or So It Seems ...

Going Nuclear at Garden Bros. Circus Can Be Crazy Fun,  Or So It Seems ...
Kijome Hara with the World’s Smallest Man and Wini McCay

Friday, February 21, 2020


Update 2.24.20. I called Feld Entertainment this morning, and spoke with the very pleasant Laurie, who answered the phone.  She said she is usually the last person to know things, but acknowledged that, yes, Steve does work there. I read her the release and she said "it sounds pretty legit." I did not wish to press the matter beyond Laurie.  Stay tuned, for if nothing else, more intrigue. We take what crumbs we can find here on the midwayof falling and fallen big tops.

Updates: 2.23.20:  I find no information about this on the Feld Entertainment website, including press releases. However, see below.

This, by way of Don Covington:

Great News Coming out of Florida!

Feld Entertainment, Inc. of Palmetto (FL) has revealed plans to create a new, live circus experience under the moniker of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, The Greatest Show on Earth. According to SVP of Global Communications, Steve Yaros, the new venture will be “a multi-platform family entertainment franchise” that promises to “elevate its relationship with new and longtime fans, making Ringling Bros. part of their daily lives.” 

Stay tuned for further developments.

This I did find on the Feld Entertainment website:
(italics and bold are mine)

Steve Yaros 

 As Senior Vice President of Media and Global Communications, Steve develops and spearheads global public relations and corporate communication strategies for the Feld Entertainment brand and its world-class productions. He provides insight into industry trends that ultimately dictate the pulse of the company’s storytelling.

Steve began his career at Feld in 1990 as a Regional Marketing Manager, promoting shows in various top markets throughout the country.

He then advanced to Regional Vice President of the Mid-Atlantic Region in 1997 and was later tapped to serve as the first Vice President of Brand Marketing for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® circus. During his long career at Feld, he also served as Vice President of Event Marketing & Sales in the Northeast Region.

Steve holds a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA

Circusing Into 2020: As Big Tops Topple, Museums & Movies Keep the Ageless Delight Half-a Delight.... The House of Ringling Stirs Again! ... Could It Be? ..

Originally posted on January 7 

So, why don't we begin the new year on a high note?

BACK TO BARABOO: On good news we lift off.  Ringlinglville spreading its rebounding glories in a glorious 8-sheet brochure, bright and cheery.  Next summer’s non-PC show to be themed, Go West.  Among the rootin’ tootin’ returnees, barnyard magician Jenny Vidbel promising another zany menagerie, including (but not limited to, please) horses, pones, dogs, goats, and two steers. No pig, Jenny? And what about that snippy skunk?   ... “We never know exactly what’s coming until she is here and unloading it,” chirps ringmaster Dave SaLoutos ... Half-white face clowning by goofball reliables Copeland and Combs, heading to Amsterdam for end-of-the year rollick at Wereldkerstcircus, holding court at Circus World for another summer season.  Don’t you just love their ambitious sprits?

CIRCUS WORLD’S  Piper-in-Chief Scott O’Donnell, talking up rising attendance, affirming the “majesty and beauty through the elephants and tigers that shared our summer,” dropping hints of  “live circus performances year around..” ...  New exhibits planned.  More ailing wagons readied for rehab. ((Is my beloved Foley & Burke fun house wagon still rotting away in the nether regions of criminal neglect? )  For me, Baraboo is a dream town, and how I wish Amtrak rumbled through...Does anybody know if  the lady in the grand Victorian still rent rooms, complete with visiting bats, and for breakfast, serves up a Ringling spec of a feast?
BIG APPLE DREAMS NEVER DIE -- not yet. Post Binder and Christensen, they took the good doctor, Neil Khranvatz, on a rescue ride as mover and shaker — the press bought it --- a ride that lasted but maybe a season and a half.  Into replace the doc came rock-the-tent lawyer Gregg Walker, who’s high on upscale cuisine and a more spicy performance.  He’s cooked up what looks like a good show, and seasoned it with dabs of sleaze and sass. Will mom and dad resist?  Will younger singles and duos take the bait?  I am waiting for the show to play Cunningham Park in May, with or without innuendo.   

CAPTURED, FRACTURED on cinema.  I settled down for another look at the PBS Circus in reruns..   So much brilliant footage to die for, but to muddle through for?  Opens up wondrously, then too soon takes us back in time,  NOT to Philly l792 where the circus in this country started out, but to New York, 1843, site of Barnum’s Museum.  And they can’t let go of Mr. Barnum.   Barnum.  Barnum.  Barnum forever.  Pardon me!  HELLO! That was a bloody freak and oddities show he had up and running. NOT a circus!  Knowing what other agitations lay ahead in this ill-conceived, half-baked tribute that ends up giving up in the most lame fashion in Pittsburgh, 1956, blaming the end of circus on Ed Sullivan,  I tuned out, and, yes okay, I am wasting your time already. Let’s spin a little cotton candy.

CIRCUS IS WHERE YOU FIND IT!  These gloomy days, circus artists, struggling to land  gigs, are finding work in the most unlikely places, concert hall to half-time at football games.  The latter venue conquered with grace, stamina and charm by acrobat Christian Stolinev and Percy, his 7-year-old Mexican born golden Chihuahua. The duo logging in more than 200 shows at pro and college games since 2013.  Percy knocks ‘em dead. “He’s definitely the star,” says Christian, giving his partner credit for the half time payoffs ... Let’s hang the true magic of circus on that little dog, who, midway in Christian’s workout, pops out of a box on onto Christian and stays loyally  upright during his master’s handstands.

FELDISHLY FAITHFUL:  Fallen circus king, Kenneth Feld, in his own words, from the doc he produced about the show’s final days: “Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey will live and at some point in time Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey will reappear, and it will be quite different. It will set the standard for the time and for the future.” Chills   down    my    spine ... This I know. This man CAN be brilliant, CAN adapt, CAN pull in crowds larger than any other top out there on the planet, CDS included,  and HAS millions in chump change to play with.  So, how about it, House of Ringling?  I am in your face, Feld of Felds:  MAKE MY BLOG.

How’s that for a wrap?  Until that magic day, circus is where you find it, so go out and look!

Happy whatever, 2020!

Center ring kudos to cyber courier Don Covington, for keeping me linked in through the year to numerous circus articles and reviews.

posted 1.7.2020

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Characters on the Midway: Out, Damn Judge Judy!

I have an embarrassing confession to post: I may have fallen into a Judge Judy addiction. Help! Started maybe half a year ago when I, with ample time, decided to indulge in a nightly fix of this hooky TV courtroom show. Cases are real. But it's Judy whom I question. Her hot-button vocabulary is limited to maybe 5 or 10 derisive words: moron, idiot, imbecile, and so on. Her verdicts are in black and white. She claims to know who is telling the truth and who is not. Really, she is like a loud vindictive aunt ordering everyone around. "You are a liar!" "You are stupid! Do we understand each other?" "Sit down!"

And maybe that's why we watch. We long for moral clarity. This feisty character, who spent years hearing cases in family court, draws millions to her chamber of insults and lectures. In a world of shadow morality and existential excuse making for every crime imaginable, this lady's lip sees only good or evil, right or wrong, period. And this makes her simplistic verdicts refreshing, even when we suspect they are only wild guesses, or rigged just to amuse the crowd.

I have watched her rip to shreds young people who don't deserve it, but who stand there and take it, their 15 minutes of reality TV fame the payoff.

For a while I found her entertaining, wondering how often she is onto the truth. Now the cases are growing same old same old: Man "lends" girlfriend money. Girlfriend claims it was as only a gift -- until they broke up.

In this made-for-TV courtroom, our judge's theatrical mannerisms rival in texture and subtlety those of the Three Stooges. She specializes in making faces and insulting people. "Look at me, you loser!" "Sit down and shut up!" "You are an idiot!"

I'm waiting for her, any moment, to partner up with the bailiff guy, and the two of them to break out into a song and dance. Judge Judy: The Musical?

She's due here in about thirty minutes. Out of principle, I think I will tune in NPR -- if Terry Gross is not interviewing a transsexual Seventh Day Adventist brain surgeon -- or Judge Judy.


Sunday, February 02, 2020

On a Bleak Midway ... Where Are We Now? .... How Vacant the Air ... How Sad the Non-Shows ...

Strange, a huge number of people wandered in here on Sunday. What's up?  Just as lost and confused as I -- if you are a circus fan feeling deserted?

Are you already missing the Circus Report? The ROUTES?  It's been all of what, a month?

Out there on abandoned grass, once resplendent with tents, no longer even giving off traces of old popcorn boxes or cotton candy sticks, peanut shells neither --- the linking lights of Don Convington are still on, as he continues to send out links to circus stories.  Maybe 20 people on his list.

I once suggested to Don that he might fill in some way when CR headed for the museum. He did not exactly say no. 

I've also floated the idea --to almost no one until this moment, right here, right now -- that he and Ernest Albrecht join forces to produce  something original and relevant. Well, have you a better idea?

Oh, boy! The Super Duper Bowl is now I think in progress. Sorry for my disrespect. Or is it Hit-Attraction Envy?  Millions tuned in around the world. 

Know what? I am afraid to bring up the Carson and Barnes website, fearing the worst.

Need I say any more?

See you down the road, luvs, as Billy Barton would once write. Rest in peace, Billy.