This is one for the ages. Remember when the circus came to New York in the spring and the press covered it as tantamount to a holiday?
Remember when crowds stormed the ticket windows at Madison Square Garden to grab the best seats for the greatest Greatest Show on Earth?
Today, it seems that even New York’s own circus can’t get a pass on plastering plywood walls encircling a construction site with posters directing customers to its hard-to-detect box office, and then to its tent, somewhere back there. Good luck on this shipwrecked midway.
Heartbreaking to listen to the show's new producer Nik Wallenda spill out his heart — a great spokesman for the growing disdain in general that many circus artists are being made to suffer in a land that has gradually been talked out of its love affair with spangled wonders under billowing white tops.
Yesterday, a day before opening, there in a bizarre affront to a tradition once embraced by the millions, was the lonely figure of Wallenda removing his own ballyhoo sheets ---as if the show had already come to town and was leaving.
The famed wire-walking grandson of Karl Wallenda told Page Six, apparently a wing of the feisty New York Post, that construction in front of the building was “completely blocking our box office.” So he raised the posters in order to direct customers through the makeshift maze.
Can Wallenda turn this ordeal into a public backlash -- swelling the coffers and filling the seats? So far, media coverage of the shows third reincarnation since fumbling out of bankruptcy has been anything but boffo. In fact, hardly aware at all. Told silence from The New York Times.
This is potentially one hell of a human interest story, and how it may play out in the Big Apple could have some effect on America’s nearly brain-dead indifference to true circus.
Said righteously articulate Nik, “We’ve trained our whole lives, and to be treated and beat up for who we are is heartbreaking. It’s like our art form isn’t worthy — which is obviously offensive. It’s green mesh construction barricades. What are we hurting by having signage, so people know we’re here?”
Show uncorks tonight.
Thank you, Don, for the link