Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Circus is Coming!

Its my family's favorite day of the year, next to Christmas and Halloween.

Circus Day.

Big Apple Circus Day.

Now, I concede that I may have an uncommonly robust love for the circus but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say there's no freaking way anyone, certainly not anyone under the age of 12, can NOT be enthralled by what goes down under the big top.

This year's Big Apple is called Dream Big! and it pretty much gets to the heart of what the circus is all about.

Its theater of the impossible.
Of the unimaginable.

Its people doing things people can't do, but there they are, right in front of you, really doing it, and its freaking enthralling. Its breathtaking. Its gasp-inducing.

The way I see it, anything that can make me genuinely ooh and ahh, anything that gets me wide-eyed after three plus decades of seeing and experiencing stuff, well that's worth the price of admission.

The big news is that its Grandma the Clown's last year on the road. This is big news, in our eyes, because all four of us are basically die-hard Grandma-lovers. We loved Grandma even before we watched, with bated breath, the PBS series "Circus," which gave you an up-close-and-personal view of Barry Lubin, the man behind the clown. As always, Grandma was a delight (you'll get your money's worth of spittakes, and for the record they were my son and husband's favorite "acts" of the whole show.) In addition, though, there was a fantastic new clown addition to the show, a curly-haired blonde, irrepressibly exuberant, naive, a perfect foil to clever, sometimes cranky old Grandma.

Highlights of this year's show:

The magic sub-theme in Dream Big! really delivers. Lots of really cool, but also funny, tricks where people gets sawed in half.

Animal tricks were cool, mainly thanks to the presence of a trained PORCUPINE and CAPYBARA. You know what a capybara is -- those insanely big-ass rats from Australia? Yeah, they've got one of those rodents in a funny little car and when he gets out, he marches right up to a mike and lip-syncs pop music. Its freaking HILARIOUS to six year-olds as well as their legal guardians.

And of course, the acrobats. The opening act was this elaborate jump rope routine which started innocently enough and ended in a human pyramid jumping rope. The times when they fail only makes it even more insane and incredible, reminding you that these people are, in fact, HUMAN BEINGS and not robots.

But my favorite, as always, was the trapeze artists. This year there was a set of super-high bars, fixed trapezes, above the flying ones, which added an extra dimension of insane impressiveness.And this show's troupe involved a little girl, which knocked Seconda's socks off. She left the theater royally pissed off that she was not invited to participate in the trapeze act since she could, of course, perform impeccably, with no training.

So, go stuff your faces with cotton candy and get thee to the circus, people!