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Review: At the Big Apple Circus, It’s a Family Affair

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A nepotism baby is a performer who entered the entertainment industry with the backing of a family member or two and has a bad reputation. Maybe they deserve something better. 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation performers swoop, swing, somersault and zip up 20-foot-tall wires in a state-of-the-art glamorous show that descends beneath a plush tent on a corner of the plaza. cross. above the sky. In a short video preceding the act, each credits their success to their mother, father, uncle, or grandparent who entered the ring before them. Headliner Nick Wallenda can trace his big top lineage back almost 250 years, and his 69-year-old mother, Delilah Wallenda, helps get him on that wire.

Indeed, these performers started their careers several steps up the ladder. Again, that ladder is precarious, balancing on a stumbling platform. So who is complaining? And who has time to complain when his mouth is too busy shrieking with fear and joy?

Over the past decade, the Big Apple Circus has undergone some twists of its own. The company filed for bankruptcy in his 2016 and was revived as a for-profit company a year later. The 2019 show offered a more adult experience with the introduction of adult-only bindlestiff his family ringmistresses brought over from his circus and some sexed-up acts. The 2020 season has been closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The tent reopened in his November 2021, which was a few weeks before everyone from his five to her twelve crowd was deemed fully vaccinated. But now that vaccines are available to everyone, One Ring is a more comfortable space, and the line-up is pretty similar to last year’s.

My family is among those who gave passes to the circus last year. Wouldn’t qualifiers like ‘defy’ make much sense when everyone in the tent (performers, audience) experiences a global pandemic? Shouldn’t we also get a sequined outfit? And in fact, the night didn’t start particularly well. The promised pre-show performance never materialized, with long lines forming through metal detectors in the rain. The main event started him 20 minutes late and he started 15 minutes after the $8 cotton candy was eaten.

But as soon as the curtain opens, surprises quickly return. “Dream Big” directed by Philippe Wm. McKinley is a lively, back-to-basics experience, and the Ringling of a few years ago is smaller and less glitzy than the extravagant extravaganzas of the Brothers and Barnum & Bailey, but full of pizza. There is no ring of death this time around, and even Wallenda seems to be flying with a little more care. If the show doesn’t tell a story (“Dream Big” is the theme of the organization in the broadest sense), it welcomes and suggests that everyone might want to grow up and join the circus.

After the opening song and dance, the performers shed a ring of small red curtains and Ellie Hoover rises above them, spinning on a trapeze. You can clearly see the safety wire wrapped around your waist, but if you’re a little worried like me, it might be a relief. She is followed by bubbly tween Veranica, who guides a quintet of trained dogs through frolic routines. Her two poodles can steer her scooter. bliss. Gina Cristiani juggles from pin to pin. Rokardy Rodríguez performs a precarious balancing act. His nephew, Axel Perez, rocks on a Lola Bora, a platform balanced on one or more rotating cylinders. Tamba, the magician who achieved great success with “Britain’s Got Talent,” shows off a crazy pop-eye that swallows more than a dozen razor blades. (“Never do this,” I whispered to my children.) After the intermission, Irina Akimova performed the whoop act, while Nick Wallenda and his family performed the famous Pyramid act. I will play a version that omits a part. Balance and route the third wallend — no net. Truncation OK!

Between defter displays, clown Johnny Rocket satirizes various circus skills. His character is a janitor and general who wants a spot on the show. Rocket, of course, is a third-generation clown and accomplished comedian. But his routine makes fun of a popular alternative to Nepo’s baby route: the overconfidence of plain white men. The character he plays cannot do handstands or hula hoops, nor can he train dexterity dogs. ) But the show keeps giving him space to try. Three appearances might have been enough. Then again, he dropped a prop light bulb on me and let out a general chuckle.

The most amazing act is one of the simplest and most unpretentious Cirque routines by 6th generation circus performer Alan Silva, the ringmaster. Silva he’s a little guy at 3 feet 10 inches. As he says in the video preceding his act, in his early years he was bullied for his height and was encouraged to clown. rice field. When he takes off his frock coat and surrenders himself to silk, he really looks like he’s flying. With practice and audacity, dreams come true. And bigger than anything else.

big apple circus
Until January 1st at Lincoln Center in Manhattan.

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