Caught me totally by surprise — a link down the Covington Chute to a Broadway World story dated Monday announcing the return of the Big Apple Circus to Lincoln Center. A slew of new names and titles assigned, including CEO, suggested a traffic jam of managing egos. And that Nik Wallenda was history.
But he act is back, and he gets prime attention, though the biggest question of all remains, who really owns this bankrupt big top? Last year, Nik claimed to be the owner. He might be smart enough to have learned that he needs somebody else running the operation. For, the release lists a new CEO named Marty LaSalle, who previously delivered a wham juggling act with his brother on the show.
The show's website is a bare bones affair, lending a rushed feel of something hastily pulled together following a harried campaign to raise more capital and cling to another season.
And there’s a new producer named Arielle Tepper. With numerous NY credits, among them, chairwoman of the Public Theatre. She may be the producer, but so, it would appear, is Michael Cohl, formerly of Live Nation and more recently of BAC. This will mark, technically, the fourth BAC management shakeup.
Also new to the show is “award winning animal advocate” Jill Rappaport, with whom BAC will partner to host a doggie rescue adoptions bash under the tent, promised to feature “fabulous dogs from shelters around New York." .
And there will be one lone animal act on the bill, a gaggle of "incredibly adorable" dogs presented by a 12-year-old from Florida, Veranica. Anything to soften the choke of woke, I'm all for.
The annual Gotham run has been cut by one third, with a Nov. 9 opening for eight weeks. No mention of a road tour of any kind. Ticket prices seem much friendlier than last year.
It is still out there, and that is good news. What is not so welcoming to my skeptical eyes is how the show’s history is worded in the release ... “founded in 1977 by two circus performers.”
The names, Broadway World, are Paul Binder and Michael Christensen.
Last year’s edition was virtually ignored by the entire New York press. Can this latest re-configuration of a shaky masthead re-boot local respect -- or will the strange, sad shrinkage continue?
END RINGERS: Musical CEO chairs? Biggest question of all -- who, if anyone, has the final say in this sprawling organization? Or as Art Concello called it, "the yes the no." The best run circuses are usually run by a single force, be it blood brothers (Ringling) or a strong impresario. Group Think is usually doomed to failure. ... Destined for the Ring of Fame in Sarasota are 2023 Circus Hall of Fame inductees Peggy Williams, the hand-balancing Alexis Brothers, Jeanette Williams, and Father Jerry Hogan, famed for his role as national Circus Chaplain.