2010 CIRCUS VISIT
#9 FLYING WALLENDA'S FAMILY CIRCUS
Franklin County Fair
My first stop of the day was at the Franklin County Fair in Greenfield, Mass. I was on the lot about 7:30 AM. I did not stay for the show as I was on my way to visiting 7 carnival lots plus another circus performance later in the day.
# 10 SIR ARTHUR'S SUPER CIRCUS
#11 ROYAL HANNEFORD CIRCUS
My first circus of the day was the Billy Martin's produced indoor presentation of the Royal Hanneford Circus for the second year at the Great York Fair in Pennsylvania.
A special feature this year in conjunction with the circus was a room next to the circus entrance featuring many minature circus models set up by the local Circus Model Builders in the are. A great exhibit that had lines of people going thru the display constanly thru the day.
#12 FUSCO BROTHERS
Upper South Carolina Fair
#13 FRANZEN'S ELEPHANT ENCOUNTER
Upper South Carolina Fair
#14 FANTAZIA CIRCUS
Upper South Carolina Fair
A small back drop outdoor circus featuring the Ybarra Brothers. This hour long performance had a little of everything from the flying trapeze, to lyria, trampoline, clowning juggling, and the last and most exciting act was a two cycle globe of death (a 9 and a half foot metal ball which they rode in along with 2 young ladies standing inside for the feature).
#15 DR SWAN
Upper South Carolina Fair
Dr Swan presented his stage show 2 times per day which was located next to the Fantazia Circus area. He presented many different acts in his half hour presentation. He walked on broken glass bottles while carring a person. At times ate fire. The act that I like the most was when he had the audience look at a spinning picture that he spun on a hand cranked drill. When he stopped you looked at his head and his head grew bigger. If you see Dr at a fair near you you need to catch his performance.
#16 FRANZEN'S GREAT CAT ENCOUNTER
Upper South Carolina Fair
Brian Franzen presented his tiger act at the fair in which it was called Tiger-mania. He was located in the area that had Joe Friscos petting zoo and pony rides on one side of his area . Across the road was the Fusco Brothers and also in the area was Dr Swan and the 1 hr presentation of the Fantazia Circus featuring the Ybarra family
#17 The CANNON LADY
Oxford County Fair
On September 16, I stopped into see the Cannon Lady Rebeca Smith who I talked to earlier this year at the Bangor State Fair where she was visiting her brother. Rebecca has one of the best looking Cannons in the business as I have seen many over the years in 2010 I have seen 4 different ones. The show started right on time as another 20 minutes it would be starting to rain. My only problem was at the fair who books in these type of acts and don't furnish any seating in the area.
Rebecca is truly a professional at what she does with a great looking act.
Rebecca looks over her landing net prior to her shot.
The Cannon Lady gets ready to enter the barrol of the mighty cannon.
(Then I mist the shot with my camera.)
Rebecca seals up the mouth of the cannon so no one can look into the barrel or puts foreign material inside of the cannon.
#18 The FLYING PAGES
Oxford County Fair
I attended the Oxford County Fair on September 16th to visit the carnival for my www.carnivalrevue.com web site and to check out the Flying Pages and The Cannonball Lady. The fair had the schedule of the acts changed so the Flying Pages would go on after the Cannon act. It amused me to see these 2 acts seperated as they should have been in one place for a show. This shows how some fairs has no idea about the entertainment business. After seeing the write up about the Pages and the family, I was truely shocked not to see one of the family present. This performance as I have been told is their second Unit. No matter what this was not a Flying Page show especially after the advertising that was sent out and not one of the Pages present. To make matters worse they did not start imediatly after the Cannon Lady was over. They did hardly anything on the trap and than it started to sprinkle, Gino Farefan did a complete revolution on the Russian Swing and that was all and one other act and it was over. Yes it rained at the end but if they would have started on time it still would not have ben a good show.
If I would have been sent advertising material about the show and advertised it and had nothing in the show I advertised I probbally would not have paid for this show. It was not what I bought. Who ever booked this show should have known. This makes everyone look bad from the Fair to the Performers to the Booking Agent.
A bow after the performance by Gino Farfan and company.
#19 BIG E SUPER CIRCUS
Royal Hanneford Circus
Eastern States Exposition
West Springfield, MA
#20 CIRCUS HOLLYWOOD
#21 FLYING WALLENDA'S FAMILY CIRCUS
#22 RINGLING BROTHERS
After I attended the Deerfield Fair earlier in the day, I drove about an hour to Manchester to see the Zing Zang Zoom Unit of RBBB Circus that was performing at the Verizon Center. Being early for the show I walked over and took in part of the World's Chili Cook-off that was going on. When I got back to the Verizon Center the afternoon performance was just getting out and watched the crowds and the protesters. On the street in front of the center was a homeless man curled up and sleeping on the sidewalk in the sun lite that was keeping him warm.
This banner hangs high outside of the Verizon Center for Zing Zang Zoom
After entering the center you saw lots of haukers selling cotton candy, lights, snow cones, and smores. The cheapest was at $8 for smores. Others was 10, 12 and 15 per item. The hauker get very little less than 10% of the cost of what they are selling no wonder most can not speak english.
When the show started after the All Access Pre Show which you could see how the ecomy was in the area. With about a third of the arena closed off now you have various seating charges with the lowest amount for this show $22. Their was a few in the front rows which was the most expenses and a few in the next lowest price range. But over 70 percent of the audience was in the cheapest sections. Out of all seating available for this performance it was maybe 25% full. This encluded the upper deck section which was not used in this performance. Live music makes this show as once again Bret Barlow headed the musicians.
Some of the stand out acts on the show was the moving casting act of the Qi Qi Har Acrobatic Troupe which really got my attention, Alex Ramon the ringmaster and his illusions along with Mr. Gravity Alan Tweedy Digweed. Tina Miser performing a high fall that her husband has been performing in previous years. The double cannon act shooting human projectiles off center to the air bags. A change from the program of 2 females being shot now it's back to Brian and Tina. Other stand outs was the Russian Swing Act of the Skokov and Romashov Troupe, Just Larry (Clark) clowning and by the way he told me he will not be returning to RBBB in 2011. Once again the Topsy Turvey Up Side Down People from earlier Ringling Productions. A fine looking tiger act of Taba Maluenda which was not complacated. Two wheel of steels at the end of the arena performed by the Fernandez Brothers the smallest brother is the better of the two walkers. Many other performers like Karin Houche with Zebras, The Olate and Hans Klose with dogs, Anna Kaminnik.
The only thing I can say negaticely about the show was in the elephant production. The young lady who was in charge of the production as it seems was hooking way to much just to speed things up. Where I was sitting I could see the hook end being used not the handle end. I'm not an animal expert or extremist but I have been watching carefully lately on who over uses the angus. She is one who should kow better.
This was a nice show and worth the price of admission.
The animal protesters outside of the Verizon Center with signs and even handing out coloring books to the kids. As you can see some of the protesters don't want their picture taken.
#23 RINGLING GOLD (ILLUSCINATOR)
Cumberland County Civic Center
I attended the opening performance on Thursday night of RBBB Illuscinator at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine for the Special $10 seat night. Performances after this performance will be between $15 and $23 plus higher seat available. Prior to the show I talked to the security guides around the backyard who was worried about the PETA protesters who had taken out a permit. But I told them not to worry as they usually only picketed the arriving audiance not by the backlot which was across the street from the Civic Center. Talked with Ramon who I met a few years ago at one of Ian Gardens shows in Lowell, Mass. Also talked tp the PETA protestors about the City permitting. As I was told by the security that they had to pay for the permit and from the protestors I was told they did not have to as it was a freedom of speech protest which is free in Portland compared to White Plains New York which each protestor has to pay $50 per person.
The show set up is like all Ringling shows now The back 1/3 of the arena is blocked off. Out of the remaining seats the crowd only filled about 25% of those seats. I felt this was a really small crowd for $10 but on the other hand it was a school night for kids. I don't know how much was spent on advertising as I live about 250 miles north of Portland and we had no advertising up north in Maine. I did see a few CFA members who came down from the Bangor area and the person sitting next to me was from Bangor and he heard about the show from his brother who lived in the Portland area.
The show started off with the pre-show than the regular performance was off with the magic of illuscinator and guide of David DaVinci. Some of the outstanding acts was one of the best Motorcycle Incline Wire with 2 girls hanging under the cycle under the name of the Medeiros Troupe, a juggling act while standing on the back of a gallopping horse, later in the show the duo hair hanging act of Widney Neves and Viktoriya Medeiros who rode under the cycle on the incline wire. All threw the performance you would see the Miller elephants handled by Ramon Esqueda. The 3 elephants knew what to do and at one time Ramon had all he could do to keep up with them. Another excelland presentation from the Miller herd. During the show there was 2 turns of The Salsations acrobatic team from Cuba who performed with the Russian Bar and Teetorboards.
During the intermission the hallways were packed so it was a hard time to get threw. The CC concessions on the outside walls along with the rest rooms and on the inside walls was RB's concessions. You could hear some talking of the prices of the goods. The civic center has some of the worst popcorn that I have had lately. The hot dogs were hard rolls damp and the drinks were watered down. Everything was $3 and not worth the price. But it was still cheaper than some auditoriums that I have been to. RB had one novilty stand with out a worker for at least 5 minutes of the intermission which lost a few dollars for the show.
The second half started of with a lion act. These lions were sharp in apperance. Especially the male who just layed around watching his pride of ladies do all the work. A strong man act of bending steel rods and than martial arts performance. During the show a small quik change routine. More magic, an upside down walk high into the arena by Francleib Rodrigues and a great presentation on a low-wire by brothers Alexander and Anton Poyarkov. Trio Caveagna presented the clowning. While Dean Kelley hosted the All Access Pre Show in the Ring. Many other things happened during the night. And of coarse a live band.
From the program that was sold that night, the only thing missing was Heidi Harriot's horse act. This was a Fabulous Show for $10 well worth the price but if I was to pay $23 it would be high price for a one ring show.
2 of the shows semi parked on Spring Street. Their was a total of 8 show owned semi trailers along with 2 privately owned semis and various campers and trucks of the performers.
In the shows pre-show you could see Susie making a foot print picture to be given away to some lucky circus fan.
About 5 minutes into the intermission. Someone was not in place at this novillty stand. I would say some lost revenue.
Susie, Minie and Tracy of the Miller Herd was the biggest stars of this performance. They were presented by Ramon Esqueda who at times had all he could do to keep up with these young ladies.
The ending of one of the Greatest Show on Earth presentation.
As you leave the auditorium in Portland the last person you see is the hauker. On this night it was warm as the tempatures were expected to fall the next few days.
Walking back from the Civic Center from the Make A Wish Foundation event is Susie with Ramon Esqueda and Yoan Quiala.
Local sketch artist R.S. Channing presents elephant presenter Ramon Esqueda and acrobat Yoan Quiala with the sketch he did of them.
Most likely this will be my last circus of 2010. Hope to see you all in my rounds in 2011.