Review: Ringling Bros "Blue" Circus

You'd think the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Baily Circus is unchanging, right?


Two words for you: House Cats.

Yes, there's an act in the middle of the 1st act of the Circus where a two trainers do an act with trained housecats. I'd pay real money if Letterman would do a walk-on and and make some quip about "Stupid Pet Tricks".

But, it got better.

I've been to the circus in Lexington many times, most recently in 2001, when the "Red" Ringling Bros. circus came to town. This is the circus with Bello, a clown/aerialist/acrobat main character with Vanilla Ice's haircut. It's also the traditional, 3-ring "Big Top" show. What we got this time in Lexington is the "Blue" circus, a one-ring circus with a plot (trust me!) that plays like an amalgam of Cirque du Soleil and a broadway show.

The theme to the blue circus is the "Circus of Dreams", and they have a faux family (all players in the circus, natch) "join" the circus, and each gets to become a circus performer. Dad becomes the Ringmaster, Mom an aerialist, Sis is a dancer, and Dan... Well, Dan's our protagonist. He doesn't know what he wants to do.

Okay, let's talk about Dan for sec. Dan is an all american 10-year-old...played by a muscular 20 year-old Chinese acrobat. Jarring...yes, just a bit.

Anyway, so the plot is in two acts, and revolves around Dan's journey through the various circus performers, sort of a "Through the Looking Glass" experience.

Enough, was it as a circus/entertainment? The first act was a disaster. When I saw the house cat act, I wanted to get up and leave. Even P.T. Barnum himself wouldn't have the stones to charge peopel $40 / head to show them TRAINED HOUSECATS.

Like I said, it got better. Since there's a Cirque influence, the show eschewed glitz for more style and focus on the central action--Lots of acrobatics, stylistic dance moves, and "skits". My favorite part was the white tigers and their trainer, though the 7-person motorcycle "ball of death" was a nice capstone to the show.

I ended-up really liking it, and Joey and Whitney (both Circus virgins) loved it.

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