Yes, this is theater. It counts. First and foremost: Do you realize that cotton candy now costs $12 dollars?? Their justification is that they're now presenting the cotton candy in a wearable top hat. The sweatshop penny hat was made of this weird, unsettling amalgam of polyester and cardboard and the cotton candy tasted like cheap pancake syrup. Humbug! As for the circus, it was pretty much the same thing I remembered the last time I went which was about 20 years ago. The tightrope, trapeze, sweaty clowns, sway poles, animal acts weren't very interesting to me but the kids in the vicinity were foaming at the mouth with glee which I spoze is what it's all about. So the animals: I'm reasonably sure that they are treated humanely and lead generally comfortable lives but having a tiger sit! stay! roll over! like a dog or having horses running dizzily around in circles for 10 minutes straight greatly diminishes the majesty of these animals and I hope that we as a culture are moving beyond being captivated by that.