The Little Circus That Could ... Highest Rated of Them All on Yelp

The Little Circus That Could ... Highest Rated of Them All on Yelp
Currently Reigning Champion at 4-1/2 Stars, Zoppe Family Circus Wins the Crowds with Heart-Warming Tradition

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

THREE GOLD CLOWNS AT MONTE CARLO TO ...

Charles and Alexandre Gruss for their horse juggling act

The Kolev Sisters, Michelle and Nicole, for their hand-to-hand performance

The elephants trained by Elvis and Cvetomira Errani

Thursday, January 18, 2024

STEVE AND RYAN TO MONTE CARLO ...

America Calling:  There they are!  First row, left, our own Steve Copeland and Ryan Combs appearing in this year's festival.   High Honors for two dedicated goof balls helping to keep clowning alive.  

Saturday, January 13, 2024

2023, Looking Back: The Year That Was & Wasn’t

 “GREATEST SHOW” RETURN FAILS TO CAPTURE HEADLINES


     PERHAPS THE BIGGEST IGNORED EVENT event ever in American circus history was the so-called “comeback” of Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey.  Not a single legit notice in a newspaper that I can find. Some will send me “reviews” that turn out to be feature stories in which show people self-review their own work  It sill feels like  media in this country giving up on circus as passe after Ringling folded  in 2017. 

HOW CAN YOU RETURN WHEN IT’S  NOT YOU?

 
      RINGLING BEING ALL HUMAN may fail to be seen as a comeback, but a make over so radical as to not count as a comeback, defined in my dictionary from Webster, “a return to a former position or condition”  Show is not helped any by “circus” out of the title, by going without  rings or ringmaster, animals or clowns — even a live band.  All of which may strike a hurried reporter taking a fleeting glance as inconsequential.  Which is not to imply they are failing to attract crowds. For all I know, they may be.

MY BIGGEST BLOGGING BLUNDER


     MORE THAN ONCE, I PREDICTED that Ringling would be “Circus du soleil on steroids” If those who have seen it up close and in full are to be believed, how dead wrong was I.

RINGMASTERS  NEED NOT APPLY?


     AS I TOUR OUR REAL OR YOU TUBED SHOWS, seems that suddenly the man in red is MIA.  Truth be told, he was never as fixed a figure as some might argue.  Some times, he was a voice that announced just a few of acts; other times, as in Zoppe Now, a pleasing silent figure in red on the edge of the ring,  but as comforting to see as a caring dad watching all. Ringmasters can still add a very human touch, but they need not be overbearing.  Al Ringling called for “elusive, yet vital.”  Ah, that fits Zoppe’s man.

GOTTA DANCE, LIKE IT OR NOT!


     DANCE HAS SOMETIMES PLAYED a subsidiary role in circus shows. Ringling’s production numbers used dancers to embellish action. You’ll see this at Vargas and U.K. shows, where a line of girls fill in briefly between turns..  But rarely if ever has dance been made an act itself, as it is in recurring appearances on the Big Apple’s  Roncalli Theater-circus.   Which begs the question, Why?  Were it closer to acrobatic dance, such as  Gene Kelly in flying whirls, and could thrill audiences, then let them dance!

HOLD YOUR FAKE HORSES!  HERE COME THE FAKE PIGS? 

     OUR FURY FRIENDS, robots or costumed performers, are showing up everywhere  — what, to tease kids and kiddie adults into missing them?  To signal ownership’s true heart?  To amuse Americans back into support mode?  Costumed Polar Bears at Big Apple of all places!  Heck, dogs and horses, even pigs, have not been for the most part banned.  They are NOT exotics.  They are DOMESTICS, and adults raising kids are coming to see the learning value of the magical interaction between man and non-man.

ZIPPY ZOPPE CAN DO

        ZOPPE FAMILY CIRCUS HAS DOGS and horses and they are playing long dates in the blue state of insanity (CA), and nobody seems to be picketing them. When they play 60 shows in Redwood city, and in the parking lot of the public library,  we are talking a circus performing for the progressive left and Silicon Valley.  How could this possibly be? Ask a parent.

VARGAS RISING  

    NOW THAT I OWN A CAR AGAIN (a Lyft), I am happy to see a Vargas tent more than half full, heck, thriving!  Something I have almost never seen in recent years.  Something that tells me they and the public are connecting.  And yes, not even a fake animal in sight.

 DIMINISHING THRILLS?

      THE OMINOUS RISE IN LIFELINES, if this is indeed a trend, will only further dilute the primal appeal of circus.   There are still plenty of risk takers out there to remind audiences of what sets circus apart.  Surely, this is why so many shows owners still carry the double wheel and motorcycle globe.  

THE CHANGING FACE OF CLOWNS

    I'VE A GENERAL IMPRESSION of they're finding renewed acceptance with funny faces more sketchy than thickly made up. It seems to be making a big welcome difference.   Grin, Clown, Grin!  

SHRINERS, RESTART YOUR GOLDEN AGE!

  THEY CAN EASILY get away with domestics. And a few are still getting away with wild, elephants included. These men of good will towards ailing children are fixtures in the community, the best possible link to a circus wishing to keep the animals 

MEMO TO MONTE CARLO & PRINCESS STEPHANIE:

     TOUGHEN UP, LET GO and Bring in Outside Judges, Mandate Gold Clowns only for mechanic-free acts. All of the others can  still qualify for silver, bronze, and tin foil.

YESTERDAY NEVER DIES

     YOU CAN KICK THE SOUL OUT OF CIRCUS, but you can’t kick it out of a kid who loves amusing animals and funny faces making mischief.

GOOD LUCK, 2024!!!