Monday, October 28, 2019

Big Apple Circus

Tired of the news? Depressed by the weird meanness of humans? Maybe you need a mini-vacation. Maybe you need to bask in the weird wonder of humans.

Jayson Dominguez and the Wheel of Death
Photo: Matthew Murphy

Big Apple Circus is a cure for what ails us. Over the course of a couple of hours gorgeous humans challenge their gorgeous bodies to do dangerous, bizarre, scary, lovely, and gorgeous things. Such as juggling umbrellas--seriously, gorgeous. Or balancing on one another's bodies in amazingly challenging positions. Or riding a bike across a high wire. Or skipping rope 30 feet in the air. Or taking trapeze to a whole 'nother level--as though regular ole trapeze was not sufficiently thrilling. You get the idea.

Rafael Ferreira and Alan Pagnota
Photo: Matthew Murphy

Big Apple promises that no seats are further than 50 feet from the stage, and we in the audience get to watch each other as well as the performers. It's great fun to glance across a few rows of the audience and see wide-eyed, open-mouthed looks of astonishment--and those are the adults! The kids pretty much radiate joy.

Ringmaster Storm Marrero
Photo: Matthew Murphy

I have to take a moment for my yearly complaint: Big Apple and all circuses need to stop animal acts. Horses were not made to ride in tight circles while someone jumps on them. Period.

Kyle Driggs
Photo: Matthew Murphy

This year, however, I have to add an exception: the Savitsky Cats! They're not lions or tigers, but little ole house cats. With most animal acts, many of us in the audience spend all of our time worrying about the poor creatures and wishing their "trainers" would leave them the heck alone. But anyone who has ever had house cats knows a simple fact: they only do what they want to do. In fact, the best part of the cat act is when the cats refuse to cooperate and give the trainers the well-known feline "eff you" look. It's a hoot. (But, seriously, leave the horses alone!)

A Savitsky cat from America's Got Talent

Big Apple Circus is committed to inclusivity, as reflected in some special performances. The following is from their press release:
  • For one night only (December 5 at 5:30PM) there will be a completely empathetic and immersive experience where audiences will enjoy a three-course dinner and the show--all while wearing a blindfold. The performance is fully guided and audio described, and it will provide the audience with the incredible perspectives afforded only to the blind.
  • Sensory-friendly Autism performances (October 26 and November 1st at 11 am) feature lowered light and sound levels, a complete social story available for download with a descriptive picture book showing the different areas and acts involved with the circus, a professionally staffed “calming center,” and additional support that can be accessed at any point during the show.
  • As part of the Circus for All initiative, eighteen performances throughout the fifteen-week run will offer $10 tickets for every seat in the house to underserved schools and community groups. In addition to the tickets, Big Apple Circus offers a complete study guide highlighting both CORE and STEAM curriculums for the students to learn about science, history, geography, and more first-hand as they experience the Big Apple Circus.
  • Tickets are now on sale at The regular performance schedule is Wednesdays at 11 am and 7 pm; Thursdays at 11 am and 7 pm; Fridays at 11 am 7 pm; Saturdays at 11 am, 3 pm, and 7 pm; and Sundays at 12 pm and 4 pm. As there are schedule variances, please refer to the most up-to-date calendar on the website. 
I hope you get a chance to go.

Wendy Caster
(first row, center, press ticket)

Yes, the circus does bring out the kid in everyone!

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