Saturday November 18th 2017

“The Greatest Show On Earth” returns! Reviewed by Carol Moore

home-slideshow_clowns3Highly Recommended **** I’ve taken my 7-year-old granddaughter, Molly, to lots of plays and shows.  For the first time ever, her father, my son, Owen, decided to accompany us to the opening night of “Out Of This WorldTM ”, the 2016 version of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Circus.  A great time was had by all three of us!   We give the Circus 4 BIG Spotlights.

Editor’s note: Since my grandkids have such a busy schedule with school, sports, plays, dancing, tennis, golf and having social lives, they seem to be unavailable for these events, so I am thankful that Carol is in the position to cover it for us. Thanks Carol- great job (and you too, Molly!)

“Out Of This WorldTM “ has a couple of important firsts. It’s not only the first Ringling Bros. without elephants – they were retired earlier this year – it’s their first character-driven storyline, and it’s the time they’ve incorporated ice skating into the show.  They’ve also added new lighting technology, video projections and interactive elements.  They’ve even added a free, all-new Ringling Bros. mobile app with plenty of exclusive content.

Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson, wearing a red and blue jacket with gold epaulets and a sequin covered top hat, sang the National Anthem to begin the show. He and Starseeker Paulo Dos Santos go on an intergalactic journey to planets of sand, water, fire and ice, to rescue the greatest circus stars before evil Queen Tatiana can get them. In my opinion, Paulo, a little man, qualifies as one of the greatest circus stars ever, as he participated in many of the acts – clowning, tumbling, driving a motorcycle, swinging on a trapeze, even walking completely upside down on the ceiling!

On to the acts – and “Out Of This WorldTM “ had all of our favorite circus elements – clowns, aerialists, tumblers, animals and so on, many with new twists.home-slideshow_audience2

Molly’s favorite was the mixed animal display.  In one ring, Hans Klose and his wife, Mariya Surnana put two very large pigs and a multitude of dogs through their paces.  Molly loved watching the pigs go down a slide.  Then the dogs, mostly terriers and standard poodles, jumped through hoops, balanced on a stretched out rope, jumped rope and so on.  In the main ring, Katie and Alexander Lacy had a troupe of llamas, alpacas, goats and donkeys prancing around the ring.  In one trick, one goat walked inside a wheel while another was on top of the wheel walking it in the opposite direction.  There was even a kangaroo jumping through hoops.

Her second favorite was the mixed display starring Alexander Lacey and his lions and tigers.  By the way, he rides in the circus parade with a leopard.

Owen and I agreed that the Cossack Riders were our favorite act.  Kanat & Tatiana Tchalabaev (aka evil Queen Tatiana) and their riders (men & women) were riding their horses so fast (25 miles per hour) around the ring (46-foot-diameter, specially-designed ring) that they were literally leaning sideways.  I’ve seen similar acts in the past and I still couldn’t believe the maneuvers they were doing on horseback.  We all gasped when one woman, with one foot on the shoulders of two men riding two different horses, then did the splits!

Instead of walking on a high wire, Space Explorer Laszlo Simet walks/balances on the Simet Wheel, a huge mechanical device that looks a lot like an infinity sign – a large circle at one end and a more pointed half-circle on the other end. The wheel part rotatess as he walks, while the whole thing moves up and down. At times his wife, Olga Simet, and Diana Beatrix Bakk ride along. He even rides a bicycle on the Wheel.

home-slideshow_globe-of-steel2

Free style skaters add grace, thrill skaters add acrobatics and trick skating, while the Heilonjiang Provincial Acrobatic Troupe add awesome stilt-skating, human pyramids and hoop-diving.

home-slideshow_horses2The fearless Torres Family started with four motorcycles speeding around inside a 16-foot Globe of Steel, adding another motorcycle, and another, and yet another, until eight of them are darting up in multiple directions inside the Globe.  It was awesome!

The King Charles Group, new this year, play basketball, dribbling, spinning, slam-dunking and fouling, all on unicycles.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Out Of This WorldTM runs through November 13th at the Allstate Arena, 6920 Mannheim Rd, Rosemont.  The circus then moves to the United Center, 1901 W Madison St, Chicago where it will run November 17th through 27th.  Running time is just over 2 hours with an intermission.  Tickets start at $15.  Parking is free with ticket purchase in all official Allstate Arena and United Center parking lots.  FYI Allstate Arena (847) 635-6601 or United Center (312) 455-4500.  For tickets, call (800) 745-3000 or go to www.ticketmaster.com, or www.ringling.comhome-slideshow_cannon2.

 

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