Posted on October 24, 2009
We’ve had three-ring circuses, new-wave circuses, and backyard circuses--but for many of us, the most charming has to be the one-ring show, as exemplified by The Big Apple Circus; it has just set up shop in New York City for a three-month run, through Jan. 17. The familiar big tent behind Lincoln Center plays host to this season’s incarnation, “Bello is Back,” and for many New Yorkers, that’s big news. The legendary performer with the sky-high hair defected for a while to the Ringling Bros. Circus, but has returned to perform his feats of derring-do in an arena where no seat is more than 50 feet away from the action. For those who follow such things, “Time” Magazine recently named him “America’s Best Clown.” This year, the performers include juggler Picasso Jr. from Spain; the Russian Aniskan troupe (trampoline and trapeze); and perennial favorite Grandma the Clown. (Thank goodness, no scary, leering clowns at this circus). And all the action takes place in one ring, so no one in the audience is frantically trying to see the pink poodles and the guy on the tiny bike at the same time. (No, thankfully, this circus actually has neither.) The Big Apple Circus, FYI, also manages some stellar community programs throughout the city, going into schools and hospitals. Big-name performers; even bigger hearts. To order tickets, call 888-541-3750; to enter the big tent, go to 62nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. You can't miss it.