Monday, October 25, 2010

The Show Must Go On

Once you tell the kids you’re going to the circus, there’s no turning back. And so it was that on Sunday, despite the fact that I was weak and achy and my throat felt like it was on fire, when it was circus-time, I had to rally. The children were besides themselves with excitement. The show must go on! And besides, it wasn’t like I had a fever or anything.

So to Lincoln Center we headed. As soon as they saw the Big Top, the children became deranged with desire for concessions. Seconda asked the woman at the Will Call booth for popcorn – it was like she couldn’t account for what she did or said under the intoxicating influence of that butter smell. She didn’t care who gave her the freaking popcorn, but she needed some baaaad.

With my three-year old holding a tub of popcorn about twice as large as her head, and Primo oh-so-tenderly clutching his cotton candy, we settled in for the show, Dance On!.

And here is why I dragged my sorry butt all the way to Lincoln Center – if I’m going to be sick, I figured, why not be sick watching the CIRCUS!!!! Frankly, one of the best fringe benefits of having kids is that I have an excuse to see the circus again. It was incredible, and I mean that in the literal sense of the word, of course – you literally could not believe what you were seeing.

My favorite acts were the contortionists (they don’t even look like human beings when they get into their groove, just like a mass of boneless creatures from outer space) and the insanely hot Strong Man acrobat who could basically perform any feat of strength you can think of. One-handed handstand atop a tiny handrest atop a three-foot pole atop a six-foot podium? No problem. The guy took a pair of these pimped-out stilts and proceeded to do a handstand on them and walk himself ON HIS HANDS out of the tent.

This was the point at which Primo started going crazy with excitement. I don’t know whether it was the massive amounts of sugar and butter or just his appreciation for the sublime but he was yelling like a madman, so loudly I actually worried it would disturb the rest of the cheering, yelling audience members:





Seconda loved the clowns. Who could blame her? Those Big Apple Circus clowns are – remember you’re hearing from a clown professional now – fantastic. Sec’s favorite is Grandma the Clown, with her white pancake makeup, who delivered all the most beloved bits -- spit takes, pratfalls, butt jokes. But there was a new clown this year, who really stole our hearts. He did all the hat tricks and some insanely intricate cup juggling but what I really loved what his clown persona – sweet and guileless in his too-short pants and pink suitcase full of tricks.

There were also goats riding on ponies’ backs and this amazing lasso act from China where this girl stood on a guy’s head WITH ONE FOOT because she was using the other foot to twirl a lasso! With her toes! If you can’t find a good time witnessing that, you can’t find a good time doing anything.

As soon as the show was over, I realized I was in the throes of a raging fever. I shivered all the way home and have been sleeping ever since, waking onto to pop Tynelol and moan. But I’ll say this – if you have to go down, watching the circus is a pretty good way to go.

The Big Apple Circus is in Lincoln Center from now through Jan 9. You can get discount tickets, up to $25 OFF EACH TICKET, by using the promo code MOMMY11 at

Happy Circusing. I hope you don't get a fever.